Episode 93 — Lidia Yuknavitch


Lidia Yuknavitch is today’s guest.  She’s the author of several books, including the critically acclaimed memoir The Chronology of Water, and now she has published her debut novel, called Dora: A Headcase.  Both titles are available from Hawthorne Books.

Chuck Palahniuk raves

In Dora, [Lidia Yuknavitch] takes the most classic model of Thera-tainment, personal-crisis-as-content, and she re-imagines it wonderfully reversed. The world of Dora is not just possible, it’s inevitable. It’s revenge as the ultimate therapy.

And Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, says

…equal parts acid-tongued coming-of-age story and feminist retelling of Freud’s most famous case study…Yuknavitch nails the whip-smart angst of a teenage girl trapped in a world both familiar and unique, and her ease with language makes her a prose stylist to envy.

Topics of conversation include:  dioramas, writing rooms, midnight blue, Portland Oregon, the fear that accompanies publication, books as children, motherhood, traditional feelings, appendages, drawing, swimming, eating paper, the psychosis of grief, journaling, gibberish, losing a child, alienation, going underwater, Carl Jung, logic, reason, addiction, weightlessness, tension relief, competition, the eye of the tiger, shaming, abuse, sleep, discipline, incessant thought, courage, honesty, The Algonquin Round Table of Portland Oregon, Chuck Palahniuk, Cheryl Strayed, Monica Drake, Chelsea Cain, Skull & Bones, Carl’s Jr., birdwatching binoculars, workshop, editorial skill, drama, France, travel, life as a novel, the next thing, commercial publishers, indie presses, Gertrude Stein, sexual acronyms, and Joan of Arc.

Monologue topics:  movement, multitasking, listening, Segways, FDR, fireside chats, the age of radio, focused attention, mail from listeners, and sitting Indian-style.