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The Chronology of Water

The Chronology of Water

A Memoir

Book - 2010
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This is not your mother's memoir. In The Chronology of Water, Lidia Yuknavitch expertly moves the reader through issues of gender, sexuality, violence, and the family from the point of view of a lifelong swimmer turned artist. In writing that explores the nature of memoir itself, her story traces the effect of extreme grief on a young woman's developing sexuality that some define as untraditional because of her attraction to both men and women. Her emergence as a writer evolves at the same time and takes the narrator on a journey of addiction, self-destruction, and ultimately survival that finally comes in the shape of love and motherhood.
Publisher: Portland, OR : Hawthorne Books, [2010]
Copyright Date: ©2010
ISBN: 9780979018831
0979018838
Call Number: BIO 813.54 YUKNAVITC 2011
Characteristics: xvii, 310 pages ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Cain, Chelsea

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From Library Staff

This is not your mother's memoir. In The Chronology of Water, Lidia Yuknavitch expertly moves the reader through issues of gender, sexuality, violence, and the family from the point of view of a lifelong swimmer turned artist.

This is not your mother's memoir. In The Chronology of Water, Lidia Yuknavitch expertly moves the reader through issues of gender, sexuality, violence, and the family from the point of view of a lifelong swimmer turned artist.


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willpell
Jan 10, 2020

This woman is one of those postmodernist "artists" who thinks that stringing together a half-page of disjointed words, with no punctuation and no sentence structure, is somehow poetic or emotionally evocative, when it is in fact merely incoherent. Likewise, she enjoys inventing compound words to describe concepts which she considers meaningful, such as "wordhouse" or "motherbox", in a way that could have perhaps been brilliant if done with greater restraint, but instead just makes it seem like she doesn't care whether anyone understands her. The half of her memoir which can actually be read and comprehended, forming an autobiography of a very storied life, is quite interesting, but her approach to narrating it seems to show almost a degree of contempt or hostility for the reader, as if she was writing solely out of a desire to write, and resents that anyone has the gall to try and interpret her narrative for their own comprehension. The first two chapters out of thirty or so are completely unreadable, as she tries to convey her grief at a stillborn daughter, but succeeds only in communicating her disdain for the rules of literature. Beyond this point, the book at least starts to make some degree of sense, but it's a punishing experience to try and absorb the text, and while some of her insights and turns of phrase are *almost* genius, few if any of them are so gloriously great as to be worth the amount of effort needed to plow through the pages. Never in my life have I encountered a human being so much in need of a ruthlessly implacable editor, who could force some sanity upon this broken woman's ravings and actually render them palatable enough to attract an audience.

l
lukasevansherman
Oct 14, 2019

While Lidia Yuknavitch, who wrote "The Small Backs of Children," gets into familiar territory with her memoir (abusive father, alcoholic mother, addiction, bad romance), but she writes in a pungent, brutal, and unapologetic way that avoids the usual comforting style of the memoir. While it's distinctive, it can be a bit much at times, light drinking too much overproof alcohol. She has has a difficult, often extraordinary life, which includes taking a writing class with Ken Kesey (a class in which seemingly every student were stoned or drunk) and swimming in a hotel pool with transgressive heroine Kathy Acker. "Eat Pray Love," this is not. Yuknavitch was part of a writing group in Portland with Chuck Palahniuk, Monica Drake, and Cheryl Strayed, among others.

r
redtayres
Sep 09, 2019

As a fan of the memoir genre it can be said that, though I've read memoirs which touch upon all of the things that Ms. Yuknavitch covers in this one, I've never read one by an author who puts her words together anything like this author does. Sometimes one reads something and emerges saying "I could've written that" but not here. Even were I to have had her life experiences (thankfully not) I'd never learn to craft sentences and paragraphs let alone an entire book, in her style. The author has led a dirty and fascinating life and those words sum up the book as well. It might not be your thing but I'd put this in your must-read category and give it 50 pages or so before deciding for certain. The Chronology of Water is one very good memoir.

j
jezicuhh
May 15, 2017

Very raw - the author fully exposes herself and her life. There were times when she would have been my best friend and other times when I wanted to punch this woman straight in the jaw. I think the story became obviously hard for the author to wrap up at the end. That's why it got 4/5 stars instead of a perfect score. I am would recommend this book to anyone who wants to be complete enveloped in some one else's life for a bit of time. I would not recommend this book to the emotionally sensitive or easily offended! :-)

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