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Lidia Yuknavitch Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Dora: A Headcase (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Small Backs of Children (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Book of Joan (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

Her Other Mouths (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Liberty's Excess (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Real to Reel (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Verge (2020) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Allegories of Violence (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Chronology of Water (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Inventors (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Misfit's Manifesto (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Lidia Yuknavitch is a bestselling and award-winning science-fiction novelist from Oregon. She is the author of “The Small Backs of Joan” that won the Ken Kesey Award at the Oregon Book Awards in 2016 and “The Book of Joan.” Her debut novel “Dora: A Headcase” was a huge success while her memoir “The Chronology of Water” won the Reader’s Choice Award at the Oregon Book Awards in addition to the PNBA Award for creative nonfiction by PEN Center USA. In 2016, she gave a popular talk on “The Beauty of Being a Misfit,” which would subsequently be adapted into a book by RED Books. Her writing has also been featured in TANK, Guernica Magazine Exquisite Corpse, Ms., The Sun, The Iowa Review, Another Chicago Magazine, Zyzzyva, and in the anthologies such as Representing Bisexualities, Life As We Show It, Feminaissance, Forms at War and Wreckage of Reason as well as at The Rumpus online magazine. She is also the founder of the popular workshop Corporeal Writing and is a teacher at both it’s online and live training. Lidia got her Ph.D. in Literature from the University of Oregon and currently lives with Andy Mingo her husband and Miles her son in Oregon.

Lidia was born in a family where her father physically, verbally and sexually abused her and her sister while their alcoholic mother was too drunk to do anything. As a teen, Yuknavitch got into swimming and started practicing for the Olympics with a coach. But she started drinking heavily soon after the family moved to Florida and the dream very nearly died. She still got a swimming scholarship and went to Austin Community College but her swimming career ended up dead in the water when her alcohol and drug abuse combined with the US boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics to kill her dreams. Lidia got into writing when she attended the University of Oregon and became the editor of a school magazine while studying for her doctorate. After two failed marriages and two brief stints in jail, she turned a leaf and decided to do something with her life. However, it was the death of her daughter immediately after she was born that was the turning point. It sucked the air out of her body and she asserted that she had to learn how to breathe again. She wrote her memoir “The Chronology of Water” in 2011 that told a patchwork tale of womanhood, love and loss and willpower. Lidia then followed that up with “Dora: The Headcase” her debut fiction novel that went on to become a bestselling title. After the success of her second novel “The Small Backs of Children,” she established herself as the literary voice that dives deep into the themes of transcendence, gender, violence sexuality and art across genres.

Given that Lidia Yuknavitch had quite an eventful life, it was not until she was between the ages of 26 and 30 that she thought that she could become a writer. However, her mother had always been a good storyteller and she could have had it in her to tell stories. Unlike most authors, she never dreamed of becoming an author when she was little until her writing came to bite her in the ass. Lidia’s writing came about during a moment of crisis and she is grateful that she had the presence of mind to step into it, since she had failed at pretty much everything else. The death of her newborn daughter in 1986 caused her some serious trauma and grief that sometimes tuned into psychosis. Out of that period came a bunch of writing that she did on notepads that she wrote Ted Kaczynski style. Once she had some improvement, Lidia went back to her legal pads and through it all saw a semblance of a story that she then wrote into the manuscript for the memoir “The Chronology of Water.” She has never looked back since and now writes what she calls “misfit journeys” that are refreshing alternatives to the hero’s journey.

Lidia Yuknavitch’s “Dora: A Headcase” is the story of Ida. At the opening of the novel, her philandering father believes that she needs a psychiatrist and so books her with a psychiatrist in Seattle. But Ida is cleverer than what her father thinks and knows all the games Siggy her new shrink is playing and so she embarks on her coming to age journey. Ida has an alter ego named Dora and this alter often engages in art attacks with her small posse of friends. Ida is so in love with Obsidian one of her best friends but every time she attempts closer intimacy, she either loses her voice or faints. Ida and her pals come up with a plan to record Siggy and then use their recording for an experimental art film. But at the crucial moment, something goes wrong since Ida’s father suffers a heart attack and she has to leave. While she could not be present to complete the recording, the rough cut of what they had already recorded goes viral. She is now the target of unethical media agents who want the full recording.

Lidia Yuknavitch’s “The Small Backs of Children” is a story set in Eastern Europe, in a small war-torn village where an American photographer just captured the best picture of the war. A girl is fleeing from a huge explosion that had destroyed her home and taken with it her family. The image wins him prizes and acclaim and he becomes an icon for millions across the world and an obsession for his best friend who is also a photographer that suffered a similarly devastating tragedy. She is increasingly becoming suicidal as she cannot deal with her depression. Her husband calls upon several of their friends including an ingenious performance artist and a fearless bisexual poet to bring the unknown girl to the US. But even as they are all ready to bring the girl to the depressed photographer, questions start to be asked. What does the writer really want and what will happen when the western world view collides with the eastern one? It is a deeply affecting, fierce and provocative novel that blends Julian Barnes’s tight construction in “The Sense of an Ending” with Anthony Marra’s emotional grittiness in “A Constellation of Vital Phenomena.”

“The Book of Joan” by Yuknavitch Lidia is a story of the near future where the earth has been transformed into a battleground by world wars. Some humans have fled the radioactive surface and unending violence and regrouped under CIEL, a mysterious platform hovering over the planet. The never-ending wars have transformed evolution into something grotesque as humans are now sexless creatures with no sexual appetites. But out of the mire arises a bloodthirsty and charismatic cult leader that takes over the colony and makes it a quasi-corporate police state. Several people come together in an insurrection to bring him down, galvanized by the child warrior named Joan. She has paranormal powers and communes with the land. But then Joan is martyred and everything goes into high gear as the men become fierce in their opposition of tyranny. Her unique gift and her story are what will forge the destiny of the planet and be an inspiration for an entire generation and those that come after it. It is a compelling tale of love and destruction that asks questions of the fluidity of gender and sex, and what it means to be human.

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