Misfit is a funny word. And yet even for those who don’t, as Lidia Yuknavitch does, identify as a “card-carrying misfit,” it likely brings along a twang of recognition. After all, everyone everywhere has experienced at least a moment or two when, actually, everything everywhere didn’t seem to fit quite right. Right?
The book has amassed a cult following for Yuknavitch’s intensity, rawness and depth of life, which includes early sexual abuse, addiction, a swim with Ken Kesey, and an exploration of bisexuality and S&M.
Andy Mingo—who’s currently co-writing and producing the film adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s novel Lullaby, has optioned Oregon Book Award-winner Lidia Yuknavitch’s memoir The Chronology of Water.
The book has won a slew of awards and amassed a cult following for...Forward
Independent film director/producer Andy Mingo has optioned Lidia Yuknavitch’s anti-memoir, The Chronology of Water. Mingo is currently casting for the film adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s novel, Lullaby, cowritten by Mingo and Palahniuk for MindPollen Studios, with production slated for 2017. The Chronology of Water will be Mingo’s next production. And it’s going to be WICKED WET.
Mingo is known for his short film adaptations of works by such Portland literati as Monica Drake (Georgie’s Big...Forward
1. Lidia Yuknavitch, The Chronology of Water
Lidia Yuknavitch’s memoir, as the title suggests, is hard to pin down. It is about motherhood, about girlhood, about drinking and screwing yourself into oblivion and then finding your voice on the page. My copy is dog-eared and filled with underlined passages. “I was using my body as a sexual battering ram,” she writes of her pansexual experiences in graduate school. Of her flirtation with erotic violence, she writes, “I felt like I had pain...Forward
Nothing gets the brain cells sizzling quite like the TED conference. After taking in 100 of the stimulating talks and demos last week, Kevin Chesters, executive planning director at Mcgarrybowen, picks out those you simply cannot afford to miss.
7. Lidia Yuknavitch
Her presentation was probably the one I remember most from the week. She gave a spellbinding talk on what it is to be a misfit, taking us through her life that has involved two failed marriages, dropping out of college, prison, and...Forward
“You can be a drunk. You can be an abuse survivor. You can be an ex-con. You can be a homeless person,” she says. “You can lose all your money or your job or your husband or your wife or, the worst thing of all, a child. You can even lose your marbles.
“You can be standing dead center in the middle all of your failure,” she says, “and still I’m only here to tell you: you are so beautiful and your story deserves to be heard. Because you, you rare and phenomenal misfit—you new...Forward
Narrative tropes reoccur across Yuknavitch’s work, both fiction and nonfiction: the stillborn daughter, the filmmaker husband and son, violent sex, and the redemptive power of art. In Yuknavitch’s antic novel Dora: A Headcase, a hilarious retelling of Freud’s infamous case history, a ragtag bunch of teenage art punks turn the camera on Freud himself. Though primarily narrated by Ida/Dora, here the art collective wrests power from the authoritative case history. When Yuknavitch’s Freud...Forward
The Small Backs of Children is Yuknavitch’s second novel, and her first book to appear from a major press. (She’s also the author of a memoir, The Chronology of Water, and three books of short fiction, two of them with the avant-garde publisher Fiction Collective Two.) In all of her work, sex, violence, and art are inextricably linked. Her new novel centers on a photograph of a girl taken in an unnamed, war-torn Eastern European country, her image haloed in fire, captured at the moment when...Forward
The designer behind every Hawthorne book
Adam McIsaac: CREATIVE DIRECTOR / Hawthorne Books
Forty-one books, on subjects ranging from Portland food to lobotomies: that’s the entire oeuvre of Hawthorne Books since the small independent publisher started in 2001. Adam McIsaac has designed—from cover to cover and each page in between—every single one. “Every letter in those things, I’ve touched, for good or ill,” he says. “I’ve always been fascinated by the shape of...Forward
The age of media and internet is one of fractal, ephemeral bodies—well-curated images of the self from certain angles and frozen in time, dust-coated corpses at the aftermath of a quake that provide little context, statistics and numbers that break down how many and what ages and when, yet provide little to no feeling. The body in writing is a vessel to feeling—to empathy. Reading Lidia Yuknavitch, Maggie Nelson, Ta-Nehisi Coates, among others, is to feel.
Sometime in 2011, at the house of friends in Portland, Oregon, I idly picked up and began to read the book sitting on the side table. It was a paperback bound in a strip of gray paper by an author whose name was unfamiliar to me. Within the hour, I looked up and said to my host, “Either you are giving this book to me or you’re going to need to walk me to Powell’s, because I’m not getting on a plane back to Boston without this book.”
The book was Lidia Yuknavitch’s memoir The...Forward
Lidia Yuknavitch for Ani DiFranco
Ani’s music is full of gut-punches, and she does things with an acoustic guitar that are probably illegal in some countries. Her recent output hasn’t reached me in the same way as her albums from the late ‘90s (Up Up Up Up Up Up was part of one of my formative reading experiences), likely because the fervor of your mid-teens passions just can’t be replicated later in life. Or maybe she just needs to shake up her style and collaborators by letting...Forward
Elle Nash:You are known for being a champion of owning your sexual/personal narrative in a world that tries to own it for you, from your body of work, to your workshops, to your work as a professor in helping others reclaim theirs. What motivated you to help others find their own voice?
Lidia Yuknavitch: Well to begin with, people helped me pull myself out of the gutter and discover an artistic path. I’d likely be dead, incarcerated, or just numb beyond words had key people in my life not...Forward
What, then, makes “good” sex writing? Deeper, more all-encompassing sex writing? Read Dorianne Laux’s poem “The Lovers,” Michelle Latiolais’s short story collection Widow, or anything by Lidia Yuknavitch. These are women who don’t separate sex — from language, from story, from what it means to be imperfectly human.
To read the entire article go to Bustle.
Lidia Yuknavitch’s memoir, The Chronology of Water, is now available in France published by Éditions Denoël.
This is an open letter of thanks.
Lidia curates words that breathe life. She is a woman that has lived life to its fullest, because she ensures she feels every emotion to its fullest capacity. Mainly pain, often loneliness and eventually, love. She does not story tell, but simply bears her soul – flowing between her own language and the life language has given her. My eyes poured over The Chronology of Water, desperately trying to match the momentum of life within the pages.
During the academic year of 1987-1988, Ken Kesey taught a graduate-level creative writing class of thirteen students at the University of Oregon. He charged the group with producing a full-length novel in one school year, which they did, publishing Caverns under the name O.U. Levon (Novel University of Oregon backwards) in 1990.
It is my intent to interview each living author about the project and what they learned from Kesey. I outline the project in more detail in my initial posting.
Welcome to Late Night Conversation. Tonight our featured guest is Tom Spanbauer in conversation with guest host, Lidia Yuknavitch. Tom’s latest novel I Loved You More was recently published by Hawthorne Books. Other titles by Tom Spanbauer include Faraway Places, The Man Who Fell In Love With The Moon, and Now Is The Hour.
Lidia Yuknavitch is a Portland-based author with titles available from Hawthorne Books. Lidia’s books include The Chronology of Water: A Memoir and the novel Dora: A...Forward
NOLA StudiolaWhat makes you laugh?
Lidia YuknavitchMy son makes me laugh, because his heart is still filled with the purity of children and his way of seeing and feeling the world is better than the word “joy.” But I also often bust a gut laughing when our human vulnerabilities are exposed without anyone suffering … little daily occurrences where our bofusness slips through … like when I walked around an entire day with my skirt on inside out, mistaking the attention for “damn, I...Forward
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This isn’t for everyone. Some will read and be exasperated or disgusted or disbelieving. I get that. I get that chaos and promiscuity and addiction are ugly, messy, and life is too short to waste reading about someone else’s tragedy and self-destructive behavior. That’s pretty much me, really. But something about this story–the goddamn gorgeous language, the raw power of its brutality–gave me so much comfort and solace. In Yuknavitch’s word embrace, I felt...Forward
Review: “Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Chronology of Water—A Body Memoir Gone Viral,” by Valerie Stivers-Iskova for the Huffington Post:
“‘Viral’ is a good meme for a memoir about the body, and seems appropriate for a small book published in 2011 that’s still breaking 50,000 on Amazon, and keeps popping up on blogs and social media feeds. Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Chronology of Water is the kind of book that people don’t just read, but become converted to. The Goodreads reviews (over 1000 ratings, over...Forward
Not having sex, overthinking sex: the memoir’s swerve into unfamiliar interior spaces could be mistaken for the embattled retreat of fierce female desire. But The Chronology of Water, which barely created a ripple when it appeared in 2011, has lately achieved cult status as a testament to the opposite. Lidia Yuknavitch, a writer in Portland, Oregon, imparts a visceral power to the experience of lust, a power unmatched in any recent account I can think of. Hers is a tale from the edge: abusive...Forward
Lidia Yuknavitch and Poe Ballantine are in good company included on Marion Winik’s readling list along with others such as:
Sisterland, Curtis Sittenfeld
Blue Plate Special, Kate Christensen
State of Wonder, Ann Patchett
Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich
Old School, Tobias Wolff
To read the entire reading list go to Marion Winik’s website.
From The Bear Deluxe:
$1,000 prize, publication, residency and manuscript review
The Bear Deluxe is excited to present the 2013-14 Doug Fir Fiction Award. We are pleased to welcome Lidia Yuknavitch as this year’s judge and to have Hawthorne Books and Ashland Creek Press as new partners along with the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology.
September 3rd is the deadline, to read submission requirements, go to The Bear Deluxe.
The RumpusWhat do you look for in a memoir? What stands out to you as “good?”
Lidia YuknavitchI look for the moment(s) in the story where the writer risked abandoning the glory of the self in favor of the possible relationship with an other. I don’t ever let the market tell me what a memoir is. The first best memoir I ever read was Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. See what I mean? I also thought of The Lover by Marguerite Duras as a memoir. Most of Carole Maso’s books and Kathy...Forward
Simply stated: She is important. Read. Her. Now.—Margaret Elysia Garcia
To read the entire post go to The Pumas Weekly.
KaitWhat does sex do for a story?
Lidia I come from such a weird angle because I think desire and sexuality are in language. My job is to find the writing path that will surface that idea. In a way, I’m a little bit against the inserted sex scene because I don’t think that it happens in our bodies and real life, so why should we do that in our writing? The Americanized, market-driven sex scene dislocates sex from our real experience. I teach a workshop on sex, death, and memoir. The first...Forward
The Electric Typewriter chose The Chronology of Water as one of its picks for 100 Great Nonfiction Books!
From Valerie Stivers-Isakova review of The Chronology of Water at the Huffington Post.
The Goodreads reviews (over 1000 ratings, over 300 actual reviews) say things like “this book is holy” and “I am sitting here in a dazed stupor.” I myself have so far bought five, and keep giving them to people. I keep describing the book as “fiction,” though, and then at some point in the conversation I’ll recall myself and say, “well, it’s a memoir, actually,” and then the person’s eyes glaze over. And...Forward
Lidia Yuknavitch’s memoir The Chronology of Water was named a finalist for the PEN Center USA’s Creative Nonfiction award.
The award eventually went to Eavan Boland for his book A Journey with Two Maps, published by W.W. Norton & Co.
Ms. Yuknavitch was joined as a finalist by Jonathan Lethem (The Ecstasy of Influence, Doubleday) and David Van (Last Day on Earth, University of Georgia Press).
Lidia Yuknavtich’s memoir, The Chronology of Water, won the Reader’s Choice prize at the 2012 Oregon Book Awards.
Lidia Yuknavtich’s memoir, The Chronology of Water has been selected by the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association for its 2012 Book Awards.