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REVIEW at Bookslut: From Caverns to The Chronology of Water

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Lidia back in the day of the "80's 'do"

Over twenty years ago I reviewed Caverns, for the University of Washington’s student paper, The Daily. The book was an experiment given credence by teacher and writing legend Ken Kesey. One of the writers, Lidia Yuknavitch (Miss Hair on Kesey’s right), ended up making a very respectable literary ascension. Her latest, a memoir, indicates she’s arrived. I review this memoir at Bookslut. (Thanks to Lidia for supplying the photo, and Bookslut editor Michael Schaub for accepting the review)

Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Chronology of Water (Hawthorne Books, April 2011) opens with Emily Dickinson’s epigraph, ‘Tell all the Truth but tell it slant.’ Dickinson’s words represent quite an understatement as, despite the title, Yuknavitch’s prose flows in its own direction. Yuknavitch weaves lucid stories with lyricism and experimental flourishes that never seem overloaded. She travels from the heartbreak of stillbirth, unhappy childhood, and a reckless coming of age; intertwines aquatic sports with various addictions and sexual escapades; and pays homage to the ghosts of literature, chief among them Ken Kesey and Kathy Acker. In doing so, she has created a simply beautiful work…”

DISCLOSER: At the time of writing the review Caleb Powell had no relationship with Lidia Yuknavitch, although later he interviewed her for The Southeast Review.

Written by Caleb Powell

April 4, 2011 at 3:15 pm