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So yes I know how angry, or naive, or self-destructive, or messed up, or even deluded I sound weaving my way through these life stories at times. But beautiful things. Graceful things. Hopeful things can sometimes appear in dark places. Besides, I'm trying to tell you the truth of a woman like me. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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I work from the body - I try to develop a language of the body. I've invented a term I call "corporeal writing" around that idea. I love teaching and collaborating around this idea, because no new breakthrough in literature ever happened because everyone was doing what was already there. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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remember how they tracked down that green-eyed Afghan girl? And she's now a leather-faced crone? Because her life went from misery and shit to more monotonous and meaningless misery and shit, while her famous photo went 'round and 'round the world making that McCurry guy famous? I say we do it. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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And so, now, she runs. In her running, her mind leaves her.
And she can hear nothing but her heart, the blast making her deaf.
There is a great white silent empty in her running.
She runs. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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America, land of coupling, land of sanctioned marriage and two-person twined knots, land of tireless good-citizen living, land of the happy family, land of the free and the brave and the locked imagination, land of ignorant homeowner masses lined up in twos. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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I don't have much interest in writing if there are not opportunities to crack open the inherited forms. The writing I love to read most does this as well. I'm a form junkie. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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I tell you, it scares me what I have done to her. It terrifies me, even. And yet I am not sorry. I am as deeply unsorry as a person could be. There is nothing that one human will not do to another. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Because in loving his darkness I found my own. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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A little bit outside of things is where some people feel each other. We do it to replace the frame of family. We -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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If you have ever fucked up in your life, or if the great river of sadness that runs through us all has touched you, then this book is for you. So thank you for the collective energy it takes to write in the face of culture. I can feel you. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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We'd cry great waves of love and rage for this young woman, whose resistance made our own lives look empty as nadless ball sacks and sewed-up dry cunts, a girl-woman whose body was in defiance of over stab at "living" we took and failed on a daily basis. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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I love the walking contradiction of the body. I want to make corporeal characters, corporeal writing, I want to bring the intensities and contradictions and beauty and violence and stench and desire and astonishing physicality of the body back into literature. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Women live their lives secretly waiting for their lives to become movies. We act like men are the ones shallow enough to desire an unending stream of beautiful women but really, if a charismatic narcissist beautiful bad boy man actually desires us, seems to choose us, we go to pieces. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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The convention of the coming-of-age story and the love story were literally abandoned - because they had to be - and a new kind of coming-of-age and love story emerged that required a different kind of telling the story. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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I've come to ask my questions. The ones my dead girl left inside me.
Is it my fault.
What happened to you.
Are you happy.
What do you want from me. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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China and India will become something we never imagined. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Do not listen to what any society tells you about the body - the body is the metaphor for all experience. A woman's body more than any other. Like language, its beautiful but weaker sister. Look at this poem. This painting. Look at these photographs. The body doesn't lie. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Words from my whole body, my entire life, or the lives of women and girls whose stories got stuck in their throats came gushing out. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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What it has meant to stay alive when my daughter did not. What it has meant to suffer a heartbeat after carrying the weight and form of her inside my body, wedged just beneath that fist-shaped muscle. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Your life doesn't happen in any kind of order. Events don't have cause and effect relationships the way you wish they did. It's all a series of fragments and repetitions and pattern formations. Language and water have this in common. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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And the Middle East, well, I think we can all see what we've made there. What a hand we've had in the making of our own demise. How masterful. And the world will continue to be melted by a sun we've crossed terribly with our progress. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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And memory has no syntax. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Birth is of course violent. Menstruation is violent. Trust me, if men's penises opened up once a month and shot blood, we'd be hearing about the violence of it. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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As far as being territorial about one's own life, that's a mistake for ANY writer. All writers everywhere, in every genre, are drawing from their life and the lives of those around them for "material." Memoirs just make transparent and even amplify that activity. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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It is not a perfect place, America. It's simply a way out of this story. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Where does repressed pain and rage go in a body? Does the wound of daughter turn to something else if left unattended? Does it bloom in the belly like an anti-child, like an organic mass made of emotions that didn't have anywhere to go? How do we name the pain of rage in a woman? Mother? -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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We are all swimmers before the dawn of oxygen and earth. We all carry the memory of that breathable blue past. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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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. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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The chief reason I shove the reader inside the body - or more specifically, the chief reason I try to get the reader to feel their own body while they are reading, is this: we live by and through the body, and the body, is a walking contradiction. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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It is possible to make family any way you like. It is possible to love men without rage. There are thousands of ways to love men. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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too - my god, what kind of brutal abomination dismisses the suffering of the majority of the world's population as worth sustaining a tiny number of pinheaded elites - is proof enough that we don't deserve a future. I -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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I look for the moment(s) in the story where the writer risked abandoning the glory of the self in favor of the possible relationship with an other. I don't ever let the market tell me what a memoir is. The first best memoir I ever read was Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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It is only inside abstraction and expression and chaos that he is alive. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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It may be true too that I would not have encountered the most important books and art and ideas of my life had I not chased down a Ph.D. I've thought about that a lot ... MAYBE I would have found the same books on my own, but I can't know for sure. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Only when I make movements away from the tribe of indie art and literature. Maybe that's something important for me to keep thinking about. What you gain, what you lose, why and how. Maybe the edge of the page is the place for me. Maybe that's OK. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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This is the first language of your body. It is the word ne. When you bleed each month, as when the moon comes and goes in its journey, you leave the world of men. You enter the body of all women, who are connected to all of nature. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Sometimes saviors look different than you thought they would. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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I never felt crazy, I just felt gone away. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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You have to be ready to be anyone in moments of danger or love. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Because rage and violence are human emotions and drives and capacities that inhabit us all. SEE CARL JUNG. Or that hipster Joseph Campbell. Because we all take archetypal journeys in a million ways - literal, symbolic, you name it - that figure, disfigure, and refigure violence. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Have endless patterns and repetitions accompanying your thoughtlessness, as if to say let go of that other more linear story, with its beginning, middle, and end, with its transcendent end, let go, we are the poem, we have come miles of life, we have survived this far to tell you, go on, go on. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Any child is stronger than a mother, since the love we have for our children could kill us. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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It seems important to them that he is a kind of villain in their stories. This seems American. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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You must let it glide on surfaces so you don't make a mess of things -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Fiction and poetry expose intimate things from a person's life every bit as much as memoir does, and sometimes more. I don't quite see or live the distinction you are making about the forms. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Germany will forgive itself so much that it returns to arms. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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When they own languages, she thought, we are terrorists. When we own them, we are revolutionaries. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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France will take on a militant tone, leaving its beautiful cultural tower to chase power after all these years. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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see the stories of women, but they are always stuck inside the stories of men. Why is that? -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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There is no girl we are not always already making into a woman from the moment she is born - making a city in the dirt next to the boot of a man. It could be rage or love in his feet. The girl could be me or any other girl. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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To a certain extent that happens with all kinds of successful writers and artists and celebrities, but there is also something about the form of memoir that creates an eerie reader space of intimacy that is only "real" in the space of the text. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Sometimes a mind is just born late, coming through waves on a slower journey. You were never, in the end, alone. Isn't it a blessing, what becomes from inside the alone? -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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When someone says something dunderheaded to me about the material, it's usually a big neon sign revealing their own damage or ignorance, so my compassion kicks in. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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In water, like in books - you can leave your life. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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She is at a crossroads: a child's violent will to survive lodged in her chest where her heart should be, but an utter indifference along with it. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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One thing about humans is that we all have them - lifestories. We live by and through them. But writers of memoir are particularly good at bringing literary strategies and form to experience (at least the good ones are). -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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What we need, is a break out. Out of our lives, out of Seattle, out of the dumb script of girl. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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If the family you came from sucked, make up a new one. Look at all the people there are to choose from. If the family you are in hurts, get on the bus. Like now. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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I learned from an early age that if it feels bad, it's good, and if it feels good, you are bad -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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I just want my stories to be mine. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Canada and Russia and Greenland will stake new claims in once-frozen waters. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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We drank everything his favorite poet drank-Bukowski- and like Bukowski's women, I matched him drink for drink.
We drank each other blind. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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In my real life I had to confront the sins of the father, but it's also a symbolic journey - a social, psychological, sexual journey for women and minorities who must pass through patriarchy and the symbolic order in order to claim a self. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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It's a movie about everything. This world we live in. The bodies we're stuck with. The lives we get whether we want them or not. How hard you have to work just to get through a fucking day without killing yourself. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Superpowers will topple and reorganize. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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We laughed the laugh of women untethered, finally, from their origins. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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how to make language go strange and vertical to make a poem. How to trust the moon. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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To move violently and beautifully through skin, to enter matter-isn't that evolution's climax? -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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I might think that equality has been achieved, there is no power relation going on in terms of class, race, or gender, I might just want to drink my latte and buy pretty shoes and write books about girls who marry, die, or go insane, then go get my nails done. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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I'm kind of still down with Virg Woolf on this one: "women must kill the aesthetic ideal through which they themselves have been 'killed' into art." -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Aren't we all just shooting for a life where art matters? -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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my parents Oedipal fakers -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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We live through sound and light - through our technologies. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Books, like all art, breed in us desire. In times of crisis and fear and misrepresentation we need desire, or else we shut down and hide out in our houses, succumbing to infotainment and the ease of an available latte, turning off our brains and emotions. Books breed desire. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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I get kind of tired of the "But it's your life!" attitude about memoir. I wrote. I engaged in artistic production. I made a piece of art. Why the preciousness or mystical unicorns around "memoir"? I'm curious how you feel about it just now. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Africa will become an out-of-reach commodity instead of the expendable refuse heap we've treated her as. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Pity the small backs of children, he heard her saying. They carry death for us the second they are born. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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I think I did it because I was hurting. I think I wanted to mark that hurt in the outside. I think I wanted to be someone else. But I didn't know who yet. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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The maternal impulse in animals to protect their young - that kind of instinct and subsequent violence is quite beautiful. Mythic even. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Little tragedies are difficult to keep straight. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Everybody uses everybody until we're all just a bunch of used up shit sacks waiting to go to dirt. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Two things have always ruptured up and through hegemony: art and bodies. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Love isn't what anyone said. It's worse. You can die from it at any moment. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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The practice of employing metaphor and image and composition and linguistic choices to move the reader through the content. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Russia will make new allegiances. Siberia, unfreezing, will become a land grab. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Dead infants don't get urns unless you pay for them - and then they stuff crap in besides just ashes to cover the smallness. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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You the swimmer, after all. And then you see the waves without pattern, scooping up everyone, throwing them around like so many floating heads, and you can only laugh in your sobbing at all the silly head bobbers. Laughter can shake you from the delirium of grief. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Words carry oceans on their small backs. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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The rocks. They carry the chronology of water. All things simultaneously living and dead in your hands. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Later, someone will come back and get her and take her back home. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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He treated ... my scarred as shit past and body as chapters of a book he wanted to hold in his hands and finish. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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But it is the world of men that creates pure destruction. And this is a truth we cannot bear: Since we bear them into the world, we cannot kill them. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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You know, every street in Paris is wet. Every person in Paris has a dog. Every hand in Paris holds a cigarette. Every mouth in Paris is a kiss. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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I've noticed over the past years of my writerly life that women writers in particular are discouraged in cleverly disguised forms from including the intellectual in their creative material way more than you would believe. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Out of the sad sack of sad shit that was my life, I made a wordhouse. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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This is something I know: damaged women? We don't think we deserve kindness. IN fact, when kindness happens to us, we go a little berserk. It's threatening. Deeply. Because if I have to admit how profoundly I need kindness? I have to admit that I hid the me who deserves it down in a sadness well. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Underneath the forms of fiction and poetry, you can bet your ass the ground comes from someone's actual life experience. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Aspiration gets stuck in some people. It's difficult to think yes. Or up. When all you feel is fight or run. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Photographs replace memory. Photographs replace lived experience. History. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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If I could go back, I'd coach myself. I'd be the woman who taught me how to stand up, how to want things, how to ask for them. I'd be the woman who says, your mind, your imagination, they are everything. Look how beautiful. You deserve to sit at the table. The radiance falls on all of us. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Memoirs have at their heart a content that "happened" to someone in real life. Is that what you are itching at in your question, so that if you are a reviewer or you are writing a critique you might feel as if you are stepping on someone's actual face? -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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The memoir as a somewhat indistinct form is absolutely true. So many of the memoirs I've read, and the ones I have gravitated toward most, somehow upend what I expect from memoir and the project seems greater than just the exposition of a life. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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To be honest, we live in an exciting time where form is concerned. My sincerest hope is that more people will notice this and agree to play and invent - the only way to not succumb to the complacency and market-driven schlock of the present tense is to continually interrogate it from the inside out. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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I kiss her. I kiss her and kiss her. I try not to bite her lip. She tastes like vodkahoney. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Unlike a photograph, my girl faces are blurry. I want them to be blurry. I always make myself stop from putting them right, for what will it mean? Right for whom? By whose hands? The face of a girl should be blurry. Like she's running. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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I drop to the curb like childhood leaving a body. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Worse, the bodies of women, minorities, children, disenfranchised bodies (prisoners, so-called nut cases, etc ... ) and their truths don't "count" as either present and important in society or worth Pulitzer prizes as characters in literature. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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I am a woman who talks to herself and lies. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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We do what our rising-star photographer failed to do. What all photojournalists fail to do. We go get her out of that death of a life before she dies. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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We are what happens when the seemingly unthinkable celebrity rises to power. Our existence makes my eyes hurt. -- Lidia Yuknavitch
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Make up stories until you find one you can live with. -- Lidia Yuknavitch