Review: The Misfit’s Manifesto – Lidia Yuknavitch

35011611My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Date read: 24 October 2017

Published by Simon & Schuster on October 24th, 2017

Verdict: This is a bit like Lidia-lite.

Find it on Goodreads.

“When did we forget that we are not the stories we tell ourselves?”

I admire Lidia Yuknavitch: for her honesty, her brilliance, her resilience and for her genius way of writing. Having just finished The Chronology of Water I couldn’t not read this.  This book does exactly what it says on the tin: It is a manifesto for/ about misfits. Lidia Yuknavitch uses her own experience as well as the experiences of fellow misfits to paint a picture of what being a misfit can mean and what we all can learn from them. She makes a powerful statement on the importance of art and of channeling pain into something greater. She shows how she has found a place in the world, after many many a detour. She shows how her weaknesses can be her strength and the place where beautiful art develops.

I think, the main problem for me was that I read it so shortly after the masterpiece that was The Chronology of Water. That book just blew my mind and there was no way a book that is essentially the longform of a TED talk to even come close to its structural brilliance. She also rehashes a lot of that book but in way that creates a narrative – and I thought the strength of her other book was that she did not do that. She told of her life in fragmented, poem-like chapters. This narrative created afterwards feels somehow less true to life.

Still, she can spin beautiful sentences like hardly anybody else and her voice and viewpoint is an important one. I adore that she ultimately arrived in a place of strength and how she uses that strength to try and make the world a better one.

First sentences: “Misfit. Trust me when I say there is a lot packed into that little word.”

I received an arc of this book curtesy of NetGalley and Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review.

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