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The Chronology of Water
     

The Chronology of Water

4.1 17
by Lidia Yuknavitch, Chelsea Cain (Introduction)
 

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I've read Ms. Yuknavitch's book The Chronology of Water, cover to cover, a dozen times. I am still reading it. And I will, most likely, return to it for inspiration and ideas, and out of sheer admiration, for the rest of my life. The book is extraordinary. Chuck Palahniuk, Pygmy

I love this book and I am thankful that Lidia Yuknavitch has written it for me and

Overview

I've read Ms. Yuknavitch's book The Chronology of Water, cover to cover, a dozen times. I am still reading it. And I will, most likely, return to it for inspiration and ideas, and out of sheer admiration, for the rest of my life. The book is extraordinary. Chuck Palahniuk, Pygmy

I love this book and I am thankful that Lidia Yuknavitch has written it for me and for everyone else who has ever had to sometimes kind of work at staying alive. It’s about the body, brain, and soul of a woman who has managed to scratch up through the slime and concrete and crap of life in order to resurrect herself. The kind of book Janis Joplin might have written if she had made it through the fire - raw, tough, pure, more full of love than you thought possible and sometimes even hilarious. This is the book Lidia Yuknavitch was put on the planet to write for us. Rebecca Brown, author of The Gifts of the Body

The Chronology of Water’s central metaphor works beautifully: we all keep our heads above water, look around, and enjoy our corporeal life despite all the reasons not to; beyond that, the book is immensely impressive to me on a human level: the narrator/speaker/protagonist/author emerges from a seriously hellish childhood and spooky adolescence into a middle age not of bliss, certainly, but of convincing engagement and satisfaction. David Shields, author of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto

This intensely powerful memoir touches depths yet unheard of in contemporary writing. I read it at one sitting and wondered for days after about love, time, and truth. Can't get me any more excited than this." Andrei Codrescu, author of The Poetry Lesson

Flooded with light and incandescent beauty, Lidia Yuknavitch's The Chronology of Water cuts through the heart of the reader. These fierce life stories gleam, fiery images passing just beneath the surface of the pages. You will feel rage, fear, release, and joy, and you will not be able to stop reading this deeply brave and human voice. Diana Abu-Jaber, Origin: A Novel

Lidia Yuknavitch’s memoir The Chronology of Water is a brutal beauty bomb and a true love song. Rich with story, alive with emotion, both merciful and utterly merciless, I am forever altered by every stunning page. This is the book I’m going to press into everyone’s hands for years to come. This is the book I've been waiting to read all of my life. Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

The floodgates of Yuknavitch's (Real to Reel) powerful memoir burst open with the birth of her stillborn daughter and from there the events of her life "swim in and out between each other, without chronology." Yuknavitch is a former competitive swimmer and she repeatedly returns to the image of life's fragments being swept along, as if by a current. After a childhood spent fearing her abusive father and furious at her alcoholic mother for failing to protect her and her older sister, Yuknavitch received a swimming scholarship to Texas Tech, which she loses after her second year when she became addicted to alcohol and drugs. Married briefly to an artist, she ends up at the University of Oregon, part of a fiction workshop taught by Ken Kesey, her writing fueled by the recent loss of her daughter. It takes another failed marriage before she realizes that mutual respect between a man and a woman is possible. This isn't a memoir "about" addiction, abuse, or love: it's a triumphantly unrelenting look at a life buoyed by the power of the written word.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From the Publisher

"I've read Ms. Yuknavitch's book The Chronology of Water, cover to cover, a dozen times. I am still reading it. And I will, most likely, return to it for inspiration and ideas, and out of sheer admiration, for the rest of my life. The book is extraordinary." —Chuck Palahniuk, Pygmy

"I love this book and I am thankful that Lidia Yuknavitch has written it for me and for everyone else who has ever had to sometimes kind of work at staying alive. It’s about the body, brain, and soul of a woman who has managed to scratch up through the slime and concrete and crap of life in order to resurrect herself. The kind of book Janis Joplin might have written if she had made it through the fire - raw, tough, pure, more full of love than you thought possible and sometimes even hilarious. This is the book Lidia Yuknavitch was put on the planet to write for us." —Rebecca Brown, author of The Gifts of the Body

"The Chronology of Water’s central metaphor works beautifully: we all keep our heads above water, look around, and enjoy our corporeal life despite all the reasons not to; beyond that, the book is immensely impressive to me on a human level: the narrator/speaker/protagonist/author emerges from a seriously hellish childhood and spooky adolescence into a middle age not of bliss, certainly, but of convincing engagement and satisfaction." —David Shields, author of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto

"This intensely powerful memoir touches depths yet unheard of in contemporary writing. I read it at one sitting and wondered for days after about love, time, and truth. Can't get me any more excited than this." —Andrei Codrescu, author of The Poetry Lesson

"Flooded with light and incandescent beauty, Lidia Yuknavitch's The Chronology of Water cuts through the heart of the reader. These fierce life stories gleam, fiery images passing just beneath the surface of the pages. You will feel rage, fear, release, and joy, and you will not be able to stop reading this deeply brave and human voice." —Diana Abu-Jaber, Origin: A Novel

"Lidia Yuknavitch’s memoir The Chronology of Water is a brutal beauty bomb and a true love song. Rich with story, alive with emotion, both merciful and utterly merciless, I am forever altered by every stunning page. This is the book I’m going to press into everyone’s hands for years to come. This is the book I've been waiting to read all of my life." —Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild

This isn’t a memoir ‘about’ addiction, abuse, or love: it’s a triumphantly unrelenting look at a life buoyed by the power of the written word.


PUBLISHERS WEEKLY


‎I’m also convinced that this bold and highly unconventional book – hot, gritty, unrelenting in its push to dismantle the self and then, somehow, put the self back together again – gets not just under a reader’s skin but seeps all the way into her bloodstream.


DEBRA GWARTNEY, THE OREGONIAN


Chosen as one of the 100 Great Nonfiction Books must-read works of narrative nonfiction and journalism.


THE ELECTRIC TYPEWRITER


Simply stated: She is important. Read. Her. Now.


MARGARET ELYSIA GARCIA, THE PLUMAS WEEKLY


Yuknavitch can write a really hot sex scene. It’s super sexy, and it’s never cheesy or over-the-top or too tame. It’s perfect…Yuknavitch’s memoir is one of the best books I’ve ever read.


CASEY REVIEWS, THE LESBRARY


I find Yuknavitch’s frankness about the emotional and physical experience of being a woman (in sex, in athletic competition, in childbirth) surprising. Not because it offends my sensibilities, but because it affirms them.


DANIELLE DEULEN, ESSAY DAILY


The Chronology of Water... has lately achieved cult status. Lidia Yuknavitch…imparts a visceral power to the experience of lust, a power unmatched in any recent account I can think of.


CLAIRE DEDERER, THE ATLANTIC


Lidia Yuknavitch is my favorite new writer…It’s so genius I’m not quite sure how she did it. The tone is a combination of high and low, with some of the writing literary and metaphorical, some conversational and shock-jockey, all of it fueled by rage and pain and love and art and transformation.


VALERIE STIVERS-ISAKOVA, HUFFINGTON POST


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. 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 the magic of self-acceptance and self-love, and the crazy-wonderful beauty of life.


JULIE CHRISTINE JOHNSON, CHALK THE SUN


Yuknavitch has emerged as a trailblazing literary voice that spans genres and dives deep into themes of gender, sexuality, art, violence, and transcendence. Her work is a refreshing alternative to the hero’s journey, offering instead what she calls the “misfit’s journey.”


SULEIKA JAOUARD, LENNY


[The Chronology of Water] is about rage, ecstasy, abuse, appetite, bad decisions and grace. It is one of the most full-throated depictions of being a woman I have ever read.


SARAH HEPOLA

Author of Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget


Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780979018831
Publisher:
Hawthorne Books & Literary Arts, Incorporated
Publication date:
04/12/2011
Pages:
268
Sales rank:
78,262
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author


Lidia Yuknavitch is the author of three works of short fiction: Her Other Mouths, Liberty’s Excess, and Real to Reel, as well as a book of literary criticism, Allegories of Violence. Her work has appeared in Ms., The Iowa Review, Exquisite Corpse, Another Chicago Magazine, Fiction International, Zyzzyva, and elsewhere. Her book Real to Reel was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award and she is the recipient of awards and fellowships from Poets and Writers and Literary Arts, Inc. Her work appears in the anthologies Life As We Show It (City Lights), Forms At War (FC2), Wreckage of Reason (Spuytin Duyvil). In addition she is the founder and publisher of Chiasmus Press and teaches writing, literature, film, and Women’s Studies at Mount Hood Community College in Oregon.

Chelsea Cain was born in 1972, lived the first few years of her life on a hippie commune in Iowa, and grew up in Bellingham, Washington. Her first novel featuring Detective Archie Sheridan and serial killer Gretchen Lowell, HEARTSICK, was a New York Times bestseller in both hardcover and paperback and has been translated into over 20 languages. SWEETHEART and EVIL AT HEART, the second and third in the series, respectively, are also NYT bestsellers. Chelsea is a former columnist for The Oregonian, and a regular contributor to The New York Times Book Review. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her family.

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The Chronology of Water 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
ElisB More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book. Yuknavitch's voice and style are incredible, intimate and lyrical. It's hard to explain, but parts of it settled down inside my heart and stuck, and other parts wrapped around me like a blanket. You should read this book. Everyone should.
read_for_love More than 1 year ago
I was a little hesitant when reading this book at first. From the first page, I could tell it was going to be an emotional experience and unlike a book I have ever read. I was quickly proven wrong; the book immersed me in a way I have never felt before. Ms. Yuknavitch is a master wordsmith and a powerful storyteller. Her writing challenges everything we think of as what writing is. Her use of water imagery throughout the book is profound and compelling; as are her images of life and death. This is one of my new favorite books, definitely in my top 5 favorites of all time. Ms. Yuknavitch has become one of my favorite authors overnight. I adore this book and its author. One thing I do not like is the bellyband that encompasses the book! TAKE IT OFF!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the strangest most beautiful works of memoir I have ever read. Dreamlike yet comes roaring at you with railroad and strength of train. Captivating!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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lydababes More than 1 year ago
Gave me a different out look on life.....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book because it was recommended by Chuck Palahniuk. Excellent read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
bluesus More than 1 year ago
I cried, I laughed, I wondered how did this woman get inside of me to my core. I danced around and around with excitement in feeling like I am not alone through Lidia Yuknavitch's words which I read again and again.
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Author_RichardThomas More than 1 year ago
(This review was originally published at The Nervous Breakdown) "Given a choice between grief and nothing, I choose grief." -William Faulkner I wasn't prepared for this memoir, this baptism by fire that Lidia Yuknavitch pours out onto the pages of The Chronology of Water (Hawthorne Books). I was aware of the controversy about the exposed breast on the cover, the grey band of paper wrapped around the book to appease those who can't stand to see such obscenity. I was lured in by the glowing testimonials of authors I know and respect, people like Chuck Palahniuk, Monica Drake, and Chelsea Cain (who writes the introduction), her close-knit group of fellow authors, her workshop, support group, therapy and champions. But no, I wasn't prepared for her voice-the power, the lyrical passages, and the raw, crippling events that destroyed her youth, but made her the woman she is today: fearless, funny, honest, and kind. By not being prepared, the opening lines hit me hard, and I in fact stopped for a moment, realizing that this was going to be bumpy ride, a dark story, but one that held nothing back. So I took a breath, and I went under: "The day my daughter was stillborn, after I held the future pink and rose-lipped in my shivering arms, lifeless tender, covering her face in tears and kisses, after they handed my dead girl to my sister who kissed her, then to my first husband who kissed her, then to my mother who could not bear to hold her, then out of the hospital room door, tiny lifeless swaddled thing, the nurse gave me tranquilizers and a soap and sponge. She guided me to a special shower. The shower had a chair and the spray came down lightly, warm. She said, That feels good, doesn't it. The water. She said, you are still bleeding quite a bit. Just let it. Ripped from vagina to rectum, sewn closed. Falling water on a body." I am a father, but I am not a mother. I know the difference. I was there when my twins were born, my boy and my girl pulled out into the harsh lights of the sterile, cold hospital room. I watched them cut my wife open, and I saw the pool of blood on the tile creep ever closer to the little blue booties on my feet. It was violent and beautiful-it was a miracle and a shock. But it was life-my life continued, our children, finally here. To have it end in death? If one of them (I can barely even utter the word BOTH) had died, I would have been hollowed out, gutted. I am not a mother, but my heart went out to her in the opening sentences of this novel. She had me. And this was the first page of the book. What could possibly come next? Where would this go? How do you climb above this, survive? In a number of ways: you scream and you cry, you drink yourself to oblivion, you hallucinate other worlds, you bond and you break, you hide and you seek, and if you're lucky, you are seen, you are found. (For the full review, go to The Nervous Breakdown)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a book selected by my book club. I enjoyed the uncommon structure and blunt tone of how the story was told. Though very explicit about many of her life events, the author was intentionally vague on a key element of the narrative, which led to confusion.