March 2, 2021 at 7:30 pm

Lit Fest | “Flawed, Furious, Bold, Tender”: the Creations of Lidia Yuknavitch, March 19

Lidia Yuknavitch, portrait

Lidia Yuknavitch

By Kay Keegan

Ohio University’s English Department welcomes Lidia Yuknavitch to the annual Spring Literary Festival. Yuknavitch’s virtual Reading and Q&A will take place on Friday, March 19, at 2 p.m.

Yuknavitch is a bestselling writer, who has most recently published Verge (2020), a short story collection that is equal parts visceral and gorgeous. Together, the stories create a fiercely empathetic group portrait of the marginalized in moments of crisis. In one story, a janitor builds a fantasy city on his dining room table, while in another story, an Eastern European girl develops a talent for transporting black market organs. In “Cusp,” a young woman smuggles drugs into a prison, and in “Beatings,” a man with a heart condition spends his time boxing and playing the cello. Verge explores beauty and brutality by employing a vibrant and complex cast of characters.

The collection has been praised by the likes of Dorothy Allison, Kelly Link, Therese Marie Mailhot and Melissa Febos, who described Yuknavitch’s stories as “a bouquet of dynamite: explosive, deadly, and spectacularly beautiful. These stories captivated me like modern fairy tales, and like those dark lessons they showed me how resilience is forged through survival, beauty through brokenness, joy by fire. The women who occupy them are my favorite kinds of heroines: as flawed as they are furious, as bold as they are tender. I won’t soon forget them.”

Yuknavitch lives in Oregon with her family, where she continues to write, teach, and lead the Corporeal Writing workshop series.

Other notable works include The Misfit’s Manifesto (nonfiction, 2017), The Book of Joan (novel, 2017), The Small Backs of Children (novel, 2016), Dora: A Headcase (novel, 2012), and The Chronology of Water (memoir, 2011). Her work has also appeared in The Rumpus, Guernica, and The Sun, among many others.

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