Megan BuskeyMar 12, 2023
Ukraine Is Not Dead Yet
A Family Story of Exile and Return
Today I talked to Megan Buskey about her book Ukraine Is Not Dead Yet: A Family Story of Exile and Return (Ibidem-Verlag, 2023).
When Megan Buskey’s grandmother Anna dies in Cleveland in 2013, Megan is compelled in her grief to document her grandmother’s life as a native of Ukraine. A Ukrainian American, Buskey returns to her family’s homeland and enlists her relatives there to help her in her quest—and discovers much more than she expected. The result of this extraordinary journey that traces one woman’s story across Ukraine’s difficult twentieth century, from a Galician village emerging from serfdom, to the “bloodlands” of Eastern Europe during World War II, to the Siberian hinterlands where Anna spent almost two decades in exile before receiving the rare opportunity to emigrate from the Soviet Union in the 1960s. Yet Megan’s wide-ranging inquiries keep leading her back to universal questions: What does family mean? How can you forge connections between generations that span different cultures, times, and places? And, perhaps most hauntingly, how can you best remember a complicated past that is at once foreign and personal?
John Vsetecka is a PhD Candidate in the Department of History at Michigan State University where he is finishing a dissertation that examines the aftermath of the 1932-33 famine in Soviet Ukraine (Holodomor).