Excerpt of my Interview with author Lidia Yuknavitch
MV: Reading The Chronology of Water, I was struck by the human depth of it and how brave you seemed on the page. The narrative voice takes on traumatic personal experiences without flinching, but equally without narcissism or wallowing, and is counterbalanced with wicked moments of humor. Could you tell me what it took to bring the most difficult moments to the page and whether you’d do it all again?
LY: Ha…well in some ways it nearly killed me to write that book. And yet I couldn’t NOT write it either. It’s like I hit a point in my writerly life, my emotional life, my psychological life, even my physical life, where there seemed to be a kind of blood clot in my way…sorry if that sounds gross. So writing that book took everything I had, because I had to dive down to the bottom of things, face off with them, and bring something useful back up.
You know that poem by the late great Adrienne Rich, “Diving into the Wreck?” That.
Not that I’m proud of this, but in order to write that book I drank too much. I had nightmares. I was haunted. I took too many prescription medication drugs. I couldn’t sleep or eat right. A book like COW is not a project for pussies. Sorry again to sound blunt but I’m being LITERAL when I say it was nearly the death of me.
More here… (candid and potentially NSFW!)
Mark Vanderpool, Freelance Writer and Editor Lexington, Kentucky, USA 40509