Both require deep struggle inside language and image and representation. As does painting and poetry and music. All forms of artmaking ravage the maker. A girl is photographed at the very minute her family and home are destroyed in a wartime conflict in the Balkans.
Click to email this to a friend Opens in new window Monica Ramos Suffering is not beautiful, nor is it a state of grace. But you can swim to the wreckage at the bottom and bring something back to the surface that can help others, says writer Lidia Yuknavitch.
Suffering is not a state of grace. Suffering, from my point of view, is about a real place in a real body where you face the other side of living. I feel kindred with fellow sufferers, not because they suffer, and not because of some absurd vortex of victimhood camaraderie, and not because sufferers are in a state of grace, but because they go on, they endure.
And because sometimes, the sufferer reinvents themself — and this kind of reinvention is what misfits are so good at. Misfits not only know a great deal about alternate and varied definitions of suffering, but misfits are also capable of alchemizing suffering, changing the energy from one form to another.
Here is the thing I want to say loudest of all: No great revelation has come my way. My daughter died the day she was born. I am not the only person who has experienced the suffering that comes from such a loss.
But I am one of those who is willing to stand up, tell the story out loud, admit that I have carried that profound loss, that birth-death crisis, for more than thirty years now.
And my suffering is not a state of grace. When her birth-death first happened, here is what I did: I lost my marbles. It did not happen instantly. I held my swaddled lifeless daughter several times. I kissed her, I cradled her, I sang to her. I thought I might be dead, but the heated wet towels reminded my skin that I was in fact alive, even if I was deadened.
It was my sister who brought me back to life, slowly, feeding me bits of saltine crackers to lure me back, and then one day an egg, and eventually, a milkshake.
The milkshake made me smile. Back to some animal past of pure instinct and wariness of everything around me. The hair on my legs and arms grew long, like white fur, which sometimes happens when someone stops eating. It was my sister who stepped fully clothed into the shower with me when she would hear me sobbing.
She held me tight like a mother would, and her clothes, I began to feel the texture of her clothes against my skin.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.
Lidia Yuknavitch of Portland, Oregon, is an accomplished fiction writer, university creative writing instructor, revisionist historian, feminist, editor, publisher of Chiasmus Press (one the of the Pacific Northwest’s most respected indie presses), and an executive force behind FC2, perhaps the only enduring bastion of experimental writing in.
Lidia Yuknavitch has earned a lot of (well-deserved) praise for her writing. She's been called a lot of things. To us, she's a superb teacher, someone who will strip you down to the studs and reveal the beating heart of your writing.
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4 stars based on reviews. Lidia Yuknavitch Lidia Yuknavitch is the author of the National Bestselling novel The Small Backs of Children, winner of the Oregon Book Award's Ken Kesey Award for Fiction as well as the Reader's Choice Award, the novel Dora: A Headcase, as well as three books of short fictions—Her Other Mouths, Liberty's Excess, and Real TO Reel, and a critical book on war and narrative, Allegories of Violence .