“We are all swimmers before the dawn of oxygen and earth.We all carry the memory of that breathable blue past.”
A journey of addiction, grief and the healing power of art – the highly acclaimed memoir from the author of The Book of Joan
From the debris of her troubled early life, Lidia Yuknavitch weaves an astonishing tale of survival. A kind of memoir that is also a paean to the pursuit of beauty, self-expression, desire – for men and women – and the exhilaration of swimming, The Chronology of Water lays a life bare.
It is a life that navigates, and transcends, abuse, addiction, self-destruction and the crushing loss of a stillborn child. It is the life of a misfit, one that forges a fierce and untrodden path to creativity and comes together in the shape of love.
“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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“Rendered with incredible grace … Like water, the memoir takes on an unpredictable journey … This is a story grounded in womanhood and what it means to be a woman in this world where women are all too often victimised by those who are meant to care for us most … Entrancing”
“Raw, intense and powerful, it is partly about grief and abuse but more about how writing, art and human connection can help to heal a person … As well as writing beautifully about pain and anguish, she also captures nature and her passion for swimming – despite the pain it caused in her past – with shimmering brilliance”
“Lidia Yuknavitch sets off, fiercely and unrelentingly towards the deep end. Here are phrases of nerve-jangling beauty, moments of sly humour and lines so raw you want to look away. The Chronology of Water is a story about surviving, destroying, becoming, and ultimately, falling in love with the written word. It’s a marvel”
Jess Kidd, Author Of Himself And The Hoarder
“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”
Lidia Yuknavitch is the author of the novels The Book of Joan, The Small Backs of Children and Dora: A Headcase. Her highly acclaimed memoir, The Chronology of Water, was a finalist for a PEN Center USA award for Creative Non-fiction and winner of a PNBA Award and the Oregon Book Awards’ Readers’ Choice. Her TED talk, ‘The Beauty of Being a Misfit’, has been watched over two million times. Lidia teaches in Oregon, where she lives with her husband and their son. She is a very good swimmer.
@LidiaYuknavitch | lidiayuknavitch.net