Taste of Hunger, The

By (author): Barbara Joan Scott

Shortlisted for the 2024 KOBZAR Book Award

A Quill and Quire 2022 Book of the Year

A family saga about Ukrainian immigrants in the early 20th century, the power of desire, Baba Yaga fairytales, and a moment that changes everything.

In Saskatchewan in the late 1920s, a fifteen-year-old Ukrainian immigrant named Olena is forced into marriage with Taras, a man twice her age, who wants her even though she has refused him. Stuck in a hardscrabble life and with a husband she despises, starved for a life of her own choosing, at every turn Olena rebels against her husband and her fate. As Olena and Taras drag everyone around them into the maelstrom that is their marriage, they set off a chain of turbulent events whose aftershocks reverberate through generations.

In her novel The Taste of Hunger, Barbara Joan Scott masterfully explores the pull of family, the fallout of thwarted desire, and the power of redemption and forgiveness.


Barbara Joan Scott

Barbara Joan Scott’s first book, The Quick, won the City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize and the Howard O’Hagan Award for Best Collection of Short Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Henry Kreisel Award for Best First Book. In 2015 she received the Lois Hole Award for Editorial Excellence. is her first novel. She lives in Calgary.


“This is a beautifully written novel about the harsh lives of Ukrainian settlers Taras and Olena on the Canadian Prairies in the early 20th century. Imagine As for Me and My House, but with way more drama, eroticism, and mystery! This novel deserves to become a classic of Canadian literature.” QUILL AND QUIRE

“Raw and haunting, The Taste of Hunger takes the reader on a tumultuous journey from Ukraine through three generations of women on the Canadian prairies. Passionate and fiercely independent, each woman faces staggering obstacles as she struggles to define her life and find love on her own terms, burying secrets along the way. But not all secrets remain hidden, and when the darkest of all is unearthed — a secret that implicates all three generations — one woman and her husband are forced together to confront it in an alarming way. Beautifully written, tough, tender and unrelentingly human, this is a story that cannot be forgotten.”JOAN CRATE author of Black Apple


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350 Pages
8.50in * 5.50in * .75in


September 01, 2022


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Book Subjects:

FICTION / Historical / General

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