Lidia Yuknavitch

National Bestselling Novelist
Award-winning Memoirist

Readings &
Lecture Topics
  • On Fear and Loathing
  • Mapping the Body
  • Who Will We Become
  • The Beauty of Being a Misfit
  • Life Blunders as Portals
  • War Talk
  • Prayer for Women’s Writing
  • Bridging Grief and Loss
  • An Evening with Lidia Yuknavitch

Biography

“In her acclaimed novels and memoir, author Lidia Yuknavitch navigates the intersection of tragedy and violence to draw new roadmaps for self­-discovery….Her prose erases the boundaries between memoir and fiction, explodes gender binaries and focuses on the visceral minutiae of the body.” —TedTalks

“Yuknavitch writes about art, violence, sex, ferocity, willpower and womanhood with explosive force, in a language that evokes modern mythology.” —LitHub

Lidia Yuknavitch is the author of the widely acclaimed memoir The Chronology of Water (2011), a finalist for a PEN Center USA award for creative nonfiction and winner of the 2011 Oregon Book Award Reader’s Choice. The book garnered her a cult following for his honesty and intensity in dealing with loss, abuse, and addiction, as her hopes for Olympic swimming are derailed. Her two National Bestselling novels are The Small Backs of Children, winner of the 2016 Oregon Book Award’s Ken Kesey Award for Fiction as well as the Reader’s Choice Award and The Book of Joan (2017), a reimagining of Joan of Arc, poised to save a world ravaged by war, violence, and greed, and forever change history, named a Washington Post Book of the Year. The Book of Joan has the singular distinction of being an ‘answer’ on Jeopardy in 2018. She is also the author of the novels Thrust, which is forthcoming in 2022; Dora: A Headcase; and a critical book on war and narrative, Allegories Of Violence. Her collection of short stories Verge (Penguin Random House, 2020), is her first book in two years.

Lidia is famed for her TED talk “The Beauty of Being a Misfit”, which has been viewed over 2.5 million times, and inspired her followup book The Misfit’s Manifesto (2017)—Lidia’s love letter to all those who can’t ever seem to find the “right” path. In her charming, poetic, funny, and frank style, Lidia will reveal why being a misfit is not something to overcome, but something to embrace. “There’s a myth in most cultures about following your dreams. It’s called the ‘hero’s journey.’ I prefer another myth to the side of that, or underneath it maybe. It’s called the ‘misfit’s myth,’” she says. “You may not know this yet, but you have the ability to reinvent yourself, endlessly. That’s your beauty.”

A powerful and compelling speaker, her humor and compassion inspires audiences to find beauty in the challenges of being an outsider, as shares how embracing her own ‘misfit’ identity helped transform her into the revelatory writer and speaker she is today.

Yuknavitch’s writing appears online at The Rumpus and in publications including Guernica Magazine, Ms., The Iowa Review, Zyzzyva, The Sun, Exquisite Corpse, TANK, and in the anthologies Life As We Show It, Wreckage of ReasonForms at War, Feminaissance, and Representing Bisexualities.

She founded the workshop series Corporeal Writing in Portland Oregon, where she teaches both in person and online. She received her doctorate in Literature from the University of Oregon. She lives in Oregon with her husband Andy Mingo and their renaissance man son, Miles. She is a very good swimmer.

Short Bio

Lidia Yuknavitch is the author of the widely acclaimed memoir The Chronology of Water and the National Bestselling novels The Book of Joan and The Small Backs of Children; the novel Dora: A Headcase, and and a critical book on war and narrative, Allegories Of Violence. She is also known for her TED talk “The Beauty of Being a Misfit”, which has been viewed over 2.5 million times, and her followup book The Misfit’s Manifesto (2017). She founded the workshop series Corporeal Writing in Portland Oregon, where she teaches both in person and online. She received her doctorate in Literature from the University of Oregon. She lives in Oregon with her husband Andy Mingo and their renaissance man son, Miles. She is a very good swimmer.

Visit Author Website

Videos

Publications

Articles & Audio

Selected Writings

Download Assets

Let’s get started

If you’re interested in this speaker, complete this form to begin the conversation.