"Thankfully, I've learned by now to channel all my bad behavior into making art, love, family. I get arrested and fired less often."
[How do you feel now that this book is available to readers worldwide?] "Like my vagina is on my head. The writing didn't make me feel exposed. The process was one of the more important artistic productions of my life. But the letting go of the book . . . the putting it into the hands of others . . . that part is terrifying. What if someone tells me it smells of poo? Or that I suck?"
"I still feel kind of happy in my niche. I never thought I'd be rich as a writer – I use too many words like fisting and douche and vag. I just wanted to make books that are of some "use" to someone. I want to make books that participate in the labor of what I think of as making art. I still feel those things. If there are more readers, it means I have the opportunity to jam my foot in an open door and help sneak as many of us as possible through."
"FaceHooker is a showcase-the-self form. But non-fiction ART is a way to transform and compose the self—through craft, through the rigorous and careful and painstaking process of making art—to disassemble the self and put a story back together. There IS a difference between shouting your self story all over everyone and making art."
"I don't need to agree with any piece of art to be radically changed by it. I mean hello? Lolita? GAH. Pedophile creepoid from page one! Loved it though. Great art. The writing I mean. I wish women writers got the same exaltation and respect that male writers do, instead of instant examination and critique of their personal lives or bodies."
"Who wants to sit at a table with me, share a scotch, and convince me that those stories should go away, but rape, abuse, slavery, exploitation, and human rights violations against women should remain? We can't handle violence in women characters but we CAN handle what's done to women in our present tense every second of the day worldwide? Or next door? Or in political or medical discourse? Please. That idea just makes me want to crap on a table at a very fancy restaurant. You know?"
"If I hadn't made stories up my whole life I'd be dead I think. I think that's an admirable quality, if by "lying" we mean creating fictions beautifully against the grain of culture's physical and psychic atomizing tendencies…I don't like lies that come from places of power and oppression. I don't like politicians or cultural "authorities" who lie. I don't like the lies born of "gender" or "religion" or "family" or "criminality" or the cult of good citizenship that cause an individual to believe there is something wrong with them. I don't like the lie called power, or the lie that some people are inferior to others, or the lie that humans are superior to the environment or animals. The best liars I've ever met or known are my favorite writers, musicians, artists and filmmakers. They are of the first variety. I hope they lie their asses off."
"I like to think of myself as the love-child of Walt Whitman, Julia Kristeva and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Because of course it was a threesome!"
"What is important is this: we've not yet explored nor understood our own sexualities. Sexuality is a world. Maybe we should take a break from colonizing every thing and every one and every place and every resource within our reach and learn to "discover"—without colonizing—our own bodies. We are as amazing as planets and space. In fact, we ARE star stuff.How someone can become empowered to take control of it for themselves is this: invent the language that precisely corresponds to your experience. Or stage a break-in to regular language and fuck it up."
"You have to bring the body to bare on all of your experiences, you have to let the body have its story no matter what, you have to let bones sing and muscle go taught or slack, you have to know when to scrap and when to surrender and when to suck or fuck or loosen rage, you have to hear and see and taste and touch what's around you even if it's abject, or worse, like letting a spider go in your eyeball, or sticking your finger in a gunshot wound, or understanding that the cup of someone else's body around your own is a universe."
She has published 7 books and has one forthcoming: in 2015 she published National Bestseller The Small Backs of Children with Harper. In 2017 her next book, written on behalf of Joan of Arc and the voice she never had, will be published with Harper. Two intense, complicated books in two years with a major publishing house while she is also…
Teaching at 2 universities, AND holding a full-time tenure position at a community college because she is dedicated to teaching the kinds of people who learn there.
And making 17 appearances in 12 cities in 2016.
"It is this liberatory experimentation with voice that distinguishes The Small Backs of Children and places it squarely in the realm of the most accomplished experimental fiction."—Jennifer Glaser, The Los Angeles Review of Books.
"Viral" is a good meme for a memoir about the body, and seems appropriate for a small book published in 2011 that's still breaking 50,000 on Amazon, and keeps popping up on blogs and social media feeds. Lidia Yuknavitch's The Chronology of Water is the kind of book that people don't just read, but become converted to."--Valerie Stivers-Isakova, Huff Post Books.
"But the genuinely subversive and challenging aspect of Yuknavitch's work is her foregrounding of the body, and especially her presentation of sex…Yuknavitch's sex scenes are remarkable among current American novelists, not just for their explicitness but for the way she uses them to pursue questions of agency, selfhood, and the ethical implications of making art." Garth Greenwell, The New Yorker.
Last year she started her own workshop series, Corporeal Writing℠, in an effort to build a place for people to let their intellects out of the body-cage so it can come alive on the page, and has sold out a year's worth, often within 24 hours of when they go on sale.
A few days after releasing the third video in a mini-worship-series on her YouTube Channel, the otherwise conservative Poets and Writers Magazine promoted them and her innovative writing and teaching philosophy on their blog. The writer who made headlines last year for writing a character that paints with their own urine, blood and semen is suddenly being promoted where traditional cannon respecting writers usually meet for tea and politically correct conversation.
Yesterday, 1-12-16, Ted2016 announced their program guide including a talk, alongside Al Gore, by none other than Lidia Yuknavitch.