Quote: “You are not nothing. You are vital to your culture. We misfits are the ones with the ability to enter grief. Death. Trauma. And emerge. But we have to keep telling our stories, giving them to each other, or they will eat us alive. Our suffering is not the Christ story. Our suffering is generative of secular meaning. We put ordinary forms of hope into the world so that others, scruffy or graceful, might go on.”
– The Misfit’s Manifesto, by Lidia Yuknavitch
What’s it about? Yuknavitch expands her TED Talk into a compelling account of how she and other misfits have struggled to be in the world, and how the world is a better place for it. It is about the lie that suffering makes you stronger; about the misleading myth of the hero’s journey; about making mistakes and making art and making it through the day; about surviving, and not surviving. This is a different kind of self help book, without a dash of sentiment, schmaltz or feel-good glibness.
Why read it? To hear the compelling voices and stories of many different “others,” (literally hear them, if you listen to the multi-voiced audiobook); to broaden your compassion and deepen your empathy; to find strength in vulnerability; to feel less alone and, just possibly, to save your life. In the wake of recent high profile suicides, many of us have talked about wanting to be there for each other. This book is one way of doing that.
Also try: Yuknavitch’s powerful memoir The Chronology of Water is referenced in the book; Rebecca Solnit’s Hope in the Dark; Sonya Renee Taylor’s The Body is Not An Apology: The Power of Radical Self Love; Peter Markus’s Inside My Pencil: Teaching Poetry in the Detroit Public Schools; Kelly Corrigan’s Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say; Marbles, by Ellen Forney; Ken Kesey’s Kesey’s Jail Journal: Cut the Motherf***er Loose!;
– Posted by David W.