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Toronto Life’s most popular memoirs of 2022

Toronto Life ’s most popular memoirs of 2022

This year, powerful and intimate personal stories continued to pull readers in, whether it was Ukrainians fleeing to Toronto to escape the Russian attack, Torontonians going to extraordinary lengths to raise funds for Ukraine, contending with challenging, life-altering illnesses or surviving tragic loss and finding a renewed purpose. Here, our 10 most popular memoirs of the year.


Toronto Life ’s most popular memoirs of 2022

Ihor Kozak emigrated from Ukraine to Oshawa in 1992 and has been involved in the Ukrainian-Canadian community ever since. In 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea, he co-founded the Friends of Ukraine Defence Forces Fund, which raises money for Ukrainian troops to purchase non-lethal military items. In February, when Russia attacked Ukraine, Kozak’s organization sprang back into action and raised $3 million in three weeks. Here’s how they did it | By Ihor Kozak | March 18


Toronto Life ’s most popular memoirs of 2022

Laura Mazzuca graduated from Ryerson in April of 2020. With job prospects limited by the pandemic, Laura and her partner, Stefan, started looking into activities that would keep them busy—and get them out of their apartment. Here, she tells us how she discovered an unlikely new hobby​ | By Laura Mazzuca | March 30


Toronto Life ’s most popular memoirs of 2022
Anna Gutta-Ustymenko (centre) with her mother, Iryna, and daughter, Veronika, in Aurora.

Anna Gutta-Ustymenko was living in Kyiv with her husband and daughter. When Russia invaded, she faced an impossible choice: keep her family together in an unsafe country, or flee without her husband, who was required by martial law to stay in Ukraine | By Anna Gutta-Ustymenko | April 8

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Toronto Life ’s most popular memoirs of 2022

As a child, Darryl Wallis found out he had a rare disease called hollow visceral myopathy and would need a four-organ transplant. This past July, his son had the same life-saving surgery | By Darryl Wallis | September 22


Toronto Life ’s most popular memoirs of 2022
Photo by Getty Images

When my wife and daughter were killed in Iran’s downing of Flight PS752, my life was thrown into total darkness. I will do whatever it takes to bring the corrupt regime to justice. The death of Mahsa Amini only intensified my resolve | By Hamed Esmaeilion | December 2

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Toronto Life ’s most popular memoirs of 2022

Graham Isador has a degenerative eye disease called keratoconus that is slowly causing him to go blind. When he got a job at a large Canadian corporation, he didn’t think his vision loss would impact his work. Instead, he couldn’t even get started | By Graham Isador | August 17


Toronto Life ’s most popular memoirs of 2022
The author at the Poland-Ukraine border in Przemysl.

Christian Borys spent five years as a foreign correspondent in Kyiv. When Russia attacked Ukraine, he started a viral Instagram fundraiser and raised over $1 million | By Christian Borys | March 22


Toronto Life ’s most popular memoirs of 2022

In 1989, Norman Barwin, a respected fertility doctor, helped my mother get pregnant with donated sperm. Decades later, we discovered that Barwin was secretly inseminating patients with sperm that he had no right to use, including his own. How I finally learned the truth about my biological father | By Aviva Coopersmith | February 22

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Toronto Life ’s most popular memoirs of 2022

In January 2021, Ukrainian-Canadian Tatiana Sunak left her home in Mississauga to take the top job at a prestigious school in Kyiv. When the Russian attack began, she and her partner tried to flee, but the airports were closed and the borders were clogged. Here’s how they made it out | By Tatiana Sunak | March 18


Toronto Life ’s most popular memoirs of 2022

All I ever wanted was to be a normal Toronto teenager. But when I was 17, my parents brought me to Pakistan and married me off to my cousin. How I escaped an abusive relationship and found my way back home | By Maria Malik | May 3

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