cover image The Chronology of Water: A Memoir

The Chronology of Water: A Memoir

Lidia Yuknavitch, intro. by Chelsea Cain. Hawthorne (PGW, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (268p) ISBN 978-0-9790188-3-1

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, [w]ithout 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. (Apr.)