The Chronology of Water
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The Chronology of Water : A Memoir

4.23 (6,716 ratings by Goodreads)
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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.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 268 pages
  • 142 x 226 x 20mm | 454g
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0979018838
  • 9780979018831
  • 79,337

Flap copy

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
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Back cover copy

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"
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Review quote

"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
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About Dr Lidia Yuknavitch

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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Rating details

6,716 ratings
4.23 out of 5 stars
5 52% (3,474)
4 28% (1,908)
3 13% (894)
2 4% (297)
1 2% (143)
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