The Misfit's Manifesto
Misfit - it's such a literal word. A person who missed fitting in, a person who fits in badly or a person poorly adapted to a new environment. It's a word typically loaded with shame. A word no one typically tries to own. Until now. Lidia Yuknavitch is a proud misfit. That wasn't always the case. It took her a long time to appreciate her misfit status. Having dropped out of college twice, with two failed marriages under her belt, an episode of rehab for drug use and two stints in jail, Lidia felt like she would never fit in and become the writer she wanted to be. Today, Lidia is a successful teacher and writer – and a mother and wife. But she is still, unquestionably, a misfit.The Misfit's Manifesto is for anyone who has ever felt like she was messing up – like she doesn't fit in or can't find the right path. It's a love letter to the misfits. In her charming, funny and frank style, Lidia will reveal why being a misfit is not something to overcome but something to embrace. She encourages her fellow misfits to stand up and ask for the things they want the most. Misfits belong in the room too.

The Misfit's Manifesto Details

TitleThe Misfit's Manifesto
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 5th, 2017
PublisherSimon & Schuster UK
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Writing, Essays, Self Help, Psychology

The Misfit's Manifesto Review

  • Hannah
    January 1, 1970
    "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 fro "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.
    more
  • Jon
    January 1, 1970
    This is not a manifesto. This is someone trying to lighten their burden by pouring out their heart. And then employing a lot of their friends to write paragraphs about how broken they are or were. As a result, it's a rambling and repetitive list of sorrows pinned on everyone's chests like participation medals for the 135 page it lasts.I want to express my dislike for this book without being mean. All I can really say is that it wasn't for me. It felt like my job was to sit passively and listen, This is not a manifesto. This is someone trying to lighten their burden by pouring out their heart. And then employing a lot of their friends to write paragraphs about how broken they are or were. As a result, it's a rambling and repetitive list of sorrows pinned on everyone's chests like participation medals for the 135 page it lasts.I want to express my dislike for this book without being mean. All I can really say is that it wasn't for me. It felt like my job was to sit passively and listen, but I'm not Yukanavitch's priest nor sponsor. That is not my responsibility. Maybe I'm too old for this. Maybe you're not. Maybe someone's bloodletting will make you feel less alone. Maybe then you'll feel less broken. And that's great.
    more
  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    I cried in public reading this book. Unbelievably moving and powerful, especially if you've ever felt like a social outsider.
  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    Powerful. Special. A marvel. This is my first encounter with reading Yuknavitch and I'd definitely like to read more. It's such a pean to the power of expression and the necessity of embracing yourself whole. One quote for posterity: "We have to keep telling our stories, giving them to each other, or they will eat us alive."
    more
  • Anna
    January 1, 1970
    I found ‘The Misfit’s Manifesto’ in the library catalogue while searching for Lidia Yuknavitch’s novel The Book of Joan. It’s a short book based on a TED talk, which I haven’t seen. In it, Yuknavitch describes the nature of being a misfit: an outcast from society, usually as a consequence of past traumas. She argues that those who cannot fit into ‘normal’ social roles should embrace their misfit status and that non-misfits should offer empathy rather than mere sympathy. She recounts her own trag I found ‘The Misfit’s Manifesto’ in the library catalogue while searching for Lidia Yuknavitch’s novel The Book of Joan. It’s a short book based on a TED talk, which I haven’t seen. In it, Yuknavitch describes the nature of being a misfit: an outcast from society, usually as a consequence of past traumas. She argues that those who cannot fit into ‘normal’ social roles should embrace their misfit status and that non-misfits should offer empathy rather than mere sympathy. She recounts her own tragedies and those of her friends, with the lessons that recovery from trauma comes through solidarity with fellow outcasts and making art. I found this slightly uplifting, but mostly sad. The subtext is that America crushes its most vulnerable people, leaving them homeless, ill, and/or addicted. In some countries (sadly not the UK so much anymore), more support would be available to help misfits survive. Yuknavitch suggests that we should all be aware that ‘there but for the grace of god go I’, which is true, however it shouldn’t be this way! Neoliberal capitalism has ensured our insecurity, as only the richest aren’t always a few bits of bad luck away from destitution. That’s not the point of the book, which focuses on the individual and makes a very good point about empathy, but it kept nagging at me as I read.
    more
  • Andy Pronti
    January 1, 1970
    Lidia Yuknavitch gets me! A great little book, based on her incredible TED talk. Lidia teaches us that there are other misfits out there (more than you would think), and that we all have a story to tell. You are the only one who can tell "your" story. Lidia also introduces us to other misfit authors that I'll definitely have to look into. A great read! Highly recommended!
    more
  • Sherri
    January 1, 1970
    “Why can’t I manage to follow basic social rules of behavior? Why do institutions piss me off so much? Why does male authority make me want to throw up or fight to the death? Why do I make a mess exactly when things are finally looking ordered?”
    more
  • Wendy Ortiz
    January 1, 1970
    😭⚡🎆❤ 😭⚡️🎆❤️
  • Lou
    January 1, 1970
    Within this book we have a misfit of an author.She had walked through darkness more than anyone would wish and been through loss, her voice flows with empathy and lucidity, omitting all sorts of needless words in a work of one memorable misfit and other misfits legacies full of needed words and needed people in this place called earth.Unconventionality and the misfit, with all the heartfelt struggles and tragedies coupled with inspirational lines of advice, getting back up, onward and helping ot Within this book we have a misfit of an author.She had walked through darkness more than anyone would wish and been through loss, her voice flows with empathy and lucidity, omitting all sorts of needless words in a work of one memorable misfit and other misfits legacies full of needed words and needed people in this place called earth.Unconventionality and the misfit, with all the heartfelt struggles and tragedies coupled with inspirational lines of advice, getting back up, onward and helping others, feel counted and endure.Many voices of misfittery telling their misfit realm, nine not including the author, they are those of Jason, Sean, Mary, Jordan, Domi, Zach, Melissa, Althea, and Melanie.Essential necessary reading that will stay with you and have you prisoner for one sitting from beginning to end that wouldn’t take more than 2-3 hours the most.Review with excerpts @ https://more2read.com/review/misfits-manifesto-lidia-yuknavitch/
    more
  • Graeme Roberts
    January 1, 1970
    I would normally avoid the Self-Obsession genre, but I picked this book up at the library because it was small and quick to read toward my Goodreads Challenge goal, and it was published by TED.Short as it is, it is an epic of self-pity, with some suggestion that Ms. Yuknavitch experienced a catharsis by having overcome terrible setbacks, most of which seem to have been of her own making. A blurb on the front cover from Kirkus Reviews describes it as, "A beautifully written field guide to being w I would normally avoid the Self-Obsession genre, but I picked this book up at the library because it was small and quick to read toward my Goodreads Challenge goal, and it was published by TED.Short as it is, it is an epic of self-pity, with some suggestion that Ms. Yuknavitch experienced a catharsis by having overcome terrible setbacks, most of which seem to have been of her own making. A blurb on the front cover from Kirkus Reviews describes it as, "A beautifully written field guide to being weird." She does indeed write well, but the words misfit and weird are what will attract the intended audience. She never effectively defines what misfits are, despite fencing off the territory with mental illness, addiction, abuse, sexual excess, childhood suffering, and being unattractive (Bodies that Don't Fit); it feels like a rock festival for professional victims and survivors.Ms. Yuknavitch includes testimonials from a number of her friends:I first met my brilliant and beautiful friend Melissa Febos on the page when I read her memoir Whip Smart, in which she describes the four years she worked as a dominatrix in a Midtown dungeon. She described that part of her life as a "hell of her own making," as well as her experiences as a high school dropout and her drug and alcohol use. Let me tell you, her story is one of the most bold and clear expressions of the human condition I have ever clapped eyes on. Later in life when I met her in person, I do not think it would be an exaggeration to say that our body stories made a helix of sorts.Ah, the human condition in the dungeon.Ms. Febos, in her excerpt, says:Which is to say, being a misfit and incapable of conforming to social norms was painful, it was incontrovertible, and it forced me to find my truest calling, which has been so profound and that I would not trade for any better kind of fit. I was a strange and secretive child who buried things in the backyard, was aware of my queerness very young, and I read books with the same voracity that I shot heroin. My mother was a bisexual, feminist, Buddhist psychotherapist who raised me vegetarian and corrected the sexism of my children's books with Sharpie, and my father was a Puerto Rican sea captain. I say all this to make the point that there was no getting around it: I was different; we were different.No doubt about being different, but if you look deeper aren't we all? I was imagining the monthly meeting of a fictional Misfits Club with the members playing Can You Top This? Early in the book, Ms. Yuknavitch lays out her qualifications:Up until that moment, all I was was a survivor. I'd survived my father's abuse, two divorces, flunking out of college, addiction, rehab, and incarceration. And, as noted, I'd lost most of my marbles when my daughter died, and I'd spent some time living under an overpass in a great altered state of megagrief and loss.And there are many more details of dangerous extremes. She even regrets, in this seemingly endless litany of self-pity, that she could escape addiction (presumably a demerit at the Club):I'll say it bald: I'm your garden-variety functional addict with the annoying ability to kick. My clean and sober brothers and sisters are rolling their eyes right now.Not so much eye-rolling as simulated puking, I think.Ms. Yuknavitch remarks on the talents of a few misfit friends. She mentions that two people spent nineteen days tending to her every need as she detoxed from heroin, and how her sister got into the shower with her, fully clothed, to comfort her after the death of her baby. She mentions her mother's courage in going on family hikes in considerable pain because one of her legs was six inches shorter than the other. But she seldom expresses that she loves and appreciates people for the good and kindness they did, but rather a focused resentment for what some of them did to her. Others scarcely exist in this account of I, my, me, and mine, unless they are fellow misfits.Another Goodreads reviewer had similar sentiments to mine about the book, but noted that he held back because he didn't want to be mean. My reaction was different. I remember a time in my own younger life when I was filled with self-pity and resentment. I was attracted to narratives that made me feel justified. But wise, mature, and caring members of my family and friends showed me that self-pity is the most egregious of sins. I moved on because I began to care more for others, and in so doing my self-pity evaporated. That is a common experience, and one of Ms. Yuknavitch's friends mentions it too. Because the people, often young and very vulnerable, who see themselves as misfits and freaks might read reviews on Goodreads, I want them to hear a different view.
    more
  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    This is a short book based on a TED talk. It's very interesting, and wrought unexpectedly strong emotions. I may not have suffered the same kinds of depths many of Yuknavitch's misfits have, but just the same I identify with the concept of not fully belonging in the world. This is in no way comprehensive, but it's a beginning.
    more
  • Daryle
    January 1, 1970
    This book is told through the lens of misfits who have experienced abuse, trauma, or profound suffering, though I don't believe you HAVE to have suffered to be a misfit. Sometimes we just have an "inability to fit in comfortably" to use the author's words.I love this author! She tells her own story here which is filled with pain but she comes out a brilliant teller of stories. I love that she is based in Portland, where I call home. I always say that Portland is where you can go to fit in when y This book is told through the lens of misfits who have experienced abuse, trauma, or profound suffering, though I don't believe you HAVE to have suffered to be a misfit. Sometimes we just have an "inability to fit in comfortably" to use the author's words.I love this author! She tells her own story here which is filled with pain but she comes out a brilliant teller of stories. I love that she is based in Portland, where I call home. I always say that Portland is where you can go to fit in when you don't fit in anywhere else.
    more
  • Marianna
    January 1, 1970
    Didn’t actually read, more scanned. Was just too rambling for me.
  • Jennifer Haupt
    January 1, 1970
    I read this book cover-to-cover in two hours. It's a little gem -- like sitting down and having coffee with the author. Anyone who has ever felt like a misfit, especially a creative misfit, will feel better after reading. Thank you, Lidia!
  • Marianna
    January 1, 1970
    This is a very difficult review to write. Lidia Yuknavitch is a good writer and a wonderful storyteller. Her sharing of her personal traumas in life was touching and emotional. I really appreciated her effort of personal sharing in order to reach out to others who may be in need - those who need to know they are not alone. Likewise, her friends who shared their stories, I give a standing ovation to. It is very difficult to talk about your own skeletons and to open up old wounds. I get that.... S This is a very difficult review to write. Lidia Yuknavitch is a good writer and a wonderful storyteller. Her sharing of her personal traumas in life was touching and emotional. I really appreciated her effort of personal sharing in order to reach out to others who may be in need - those who need to know they are not alone. Likewise, her friends who shared their stories, I give a standing ovation to. It is very difficult to talk about your own skeletons and to open up old wounds. I get that.... Soooooo..... my critique of this book is not an attack on Lidia or her friends, rather, it is a critique of the book as it appealed or not to me and my situation and understanding. First, The Misfit's Manifesto is not a manifesto... it is a collection of stories and assumptions based on personal experiences (or so that is what was portrayed). There was little to no affective evidence - scientific or otherwise - to the claims laid out in this book. While I understand what the word "misfit" means, I cannot agree that all misfits are usually a result of abuse or difficult family lives as is clearly repeated in this book again and again. Additionally, people - regardless of age - can "misfit" for difference reasons and in different situations. One size does NOT fit all in this case. There seemed to have been a lot of claims that I just could not agree with. Each story seemed to be focused on more drug abuse, getting involved in sexual or alcoholic abuse, and self inflicted pain. This is NOT true for all misfits. I happen to know a few myself and they are very different from the assumptions made within these pages. I must say that I listened to this book via Audio Recording... perhaps I would have ended up with a different impression had I actually read the book instead of listening to it; however, it is what it is.... Again, I mean NO disrespect to the beautiful people who shared their stories. I enjoyed and appreciated their strength in sharing and opening up about their struggles... However, as Narrators to a recording some of them should not have read their own parts. Some of the readers did not have clear diction, making it very difficult for me to understand what they were reading. I rewound certain sections 4, 5 times and still could not understand what was being read so I gave up and moved ahead. This is terrible for an audio book where your hearing and listening abilities are your only means of obtaining the story that is being portrayed. Another point that was made over and over again is that misfits need a form of artistic outlet in order to find peace or healing. Perhaps this is true, but perhaps it is not. There were no hard facts to support this idea and/or theory. This type of over generalization happened again and again within the pages of this novel and, quiet frankly, it pissed me off. I'm a firm believer that if you are going to make claims, then back them up wth scientific data and facts. I found almost non within these pages. As a novel that shares stories of troubled adults and their extremely difficult and abusive youths, it is amazing and really amazing to read to gain insight into other people's lives. As a "manifesto" - um, yeah - NO... that would be a solid no from me. I'm sorry if I have offended anyone as that was definitely not my intention. Happy Reading and Enjoy!
    more
  • Melanie Hilliard
    January 1, 1970
    My rating: 2.75 stars While I appreciate Yuknavitch's honesty about her failures and even admire her ability to persevere despite it all, this short manifesto seemed more like a drawn-out therapy session writ large. I agree with her assertion that we're not the stories we (as in the collective we of society) tell ourselves and that we need more empathy, especially for the homeless and downtrodden. But the book just seemed repetitive and the first-person stories she shares from her fellow misfits My rating: 2.75 stars While I appreciate Yuknavitch's honesty about her failures and even admire her ability to persevere despite it all, this short manifesto seemed more like a drawn-out therapy session writ large. I agree with her assertion that we're not the stories we (as in the collective we of society) tell ourselves and that we need more empathy, especially for the homeless and downtrodden. But the book just seemed repetitive and the first-person stories she shares from her fellow misfits are just another, different form of the hero cycle, but a cycle nonetheless. That being said, there is one big idea that will likely stick with me: that addiction is the obvious result of late capitalism. As we hunger for more likes and inundate each other with status updates and vacation photos, the difference between the junkie on the street and the middle-class, middle-aged clock watcher becomes less noticeable by the minute. Sayeth I as I write this book review on Goodreads for all my followers to see ...
    more
  • Vivek Tejuja
    January 1, 1970
    We are all misfits in one way or the other, or so we would like to believe. What about the ones though who really are misfits? Where do they go? How do the broken, the damaged, the ones who perhaps do not belong, fit in ultimately? Or do they fit in at all?Lidia Yuknavitch not only presents her version of who “misfits” really are, but also allows different misfits to talk about their lives and what being a misfit means to them and how by and large that affects their relationships and who they ar We are all misfits in one way or the other, or so we would like to believe. What about the ones though who really are misfits? Where do they go? How do the broken, the damaged, the ones who perhaps do not belong, fit in ultimately? Or do they fit in at all?Lidia Yuknavitch not only presents her version of who “misfits” really are, but also allows different misfits to talk about their lives and what being a misfit means to them and how by and large that affects their relationships and who they are. The fact that this book is multi-voiced makes it all the more interesting and dynamic. Yuknavitch grapples with her losses, her mistakes and how it is being a misfit, weaving her past and present beautifully (and sometimes tragically as well), thereby lending brevity and a lot of clarity to her prose. To those who have read her earlier, this book is way easier to read than “The Chronology of Water” of “The Small Backs of Children” and easier to bear as well. We all know about misfits, and yet it feels so new when Yuknavitch brings her perspective to it, with anecdotes and so much empathy. What I found most interesting about this book is the way broken lives aren’t made out to be different. They are just lives. They are just misfits who fit perfectly well in other places and times and amongst others. So in the sense, Yuknavitch takes the idea of being a “misfit” and turns it over on its head, making the reader think of their own biases and prejudices. “The Misfit’s Manifesto” is a must-read for all. To learn, to know about the different, to embrace them and in the process learning how to empathize and living life with a lot of heart.
    more
  • Abbie
    January 1, 1970
    Not fitting in is a Super Power.
  • bklyn mike art
    January 1, 1970
    such odd comfort in these uncomfortable times. uplifting.
  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    Very poetic rumination on what it means not to fit where you're expected to fit. Yuknavitch has had a rough life, and writes about it frankly and with great forgiveness and love.
  • Christine
    January 1, 1970
    I love the power of memoir, and this is a raw and eloquent account through the author's journey of living life as a social outcast or "misfit." Unfortunately, perhaps because the book is based on a TED talk, the book seems to be missing a cohesive narrative backbone and instead reads as a series of isolated essays. That aside, there is still a lot of richness in the author's account, and the narratives of others she shares, of living life on the fringes of acceptability in American culture and s I love the power of memoir, and this is a raw and eloquent account through the author's journey of living life as a social outcast or "misfit." Unfortunately, perhaps because the book is based on a TED talk, the book seems to be missing a cohesive narrative backbone and instead reads as a series of isolated essays. That aside, there is still a lot of richness in the author's account, and the narratives of others she shares, of living life on the fringes of acceptability in American culture and society.
    more
  • Lee
    January 1, 1970
    I was initially attracted to this book for it's title and as a panacea to all the self help books out there that are squeaky clean. There are a few interesting concept here, but this is mostly an extremely subjective tale of one person's journey through abuse, pain and self-discovery. Verging, but not quite entering, the realm of the self-indulgent, it was interesting. I would save the money and watch her TED talk :)
    more
  • Riva Sciuto
    January 1, 1970
    This book comes highly recommended by Cheryl Strayed, so of course I picked it up and devoured it immediately. Lidia Yuknavitch offers a unique perspective not only on what it means to be a "misfit," but on the immeasurable impact misfits can have on the world around them. “Misfits are everything,” she writes. “The world needs us." She narrates from the perspective of someone who has suffered from childhood abuse, addiction, two divorces, rehabilitation, incarceration, and the tragic death of he This book comes highly recommended by Cheryl Strayed, so of course I picked it up and devoured it immediately. Lidia Yuknavitch offers a unique perspective not only on what it means to be a "misfit," but on the immeasurable impact misfits can have on the world around them. “Misfits are everything,” she writes. “The world needs us." She narrates from the perspective of someone who has suffered from childhood abuse, addiction, two divorces, rehabilitation, incarceration, and the tragic death of her newborn daughter -- but she admits that her life is "like a lot of people's lives -- it has interesting, positive mutations in addition to mistakes." Yuknavitch fills her manifesto with stories of other misfits -- those she says "are all standing in rooms next to each other." They have all suffered in various ways, but many have turned their own self-destruction into various forms of self-creativity and self-expression. While I found many of these narrators to wallow excessively in their own challenges in somewhat of a self-pitying way, I do appreciate Yuknavitch's objective in writing this book: to help us all develop a deeper sense of empathy for those around us. She writes, "The one language we can all understand if we can remember to is empathy. Compassion. No one is perfect. No one got where they are without occasionally falling to pieces." She says, "We misfits are the ones with the ability to enter grief, death, trauma -- and emerge. Our suffering is generative of meaning. We put hope into the world so that others may go on." Yuknavitch uses her own life story to remind us that no human being is entirely good or entirely bad; where we have the capacity to do tremendous harm, we also have the capacity to accomplish extraordinary things in spite (and often because) of our suffering.One of my favorite passages: “My so-called traumas -- the death of my daughter, the abuse in my childhood, the rage I carried -- were places of storytelling, realms of expression. My grief and my daughter's death and my suffering were not something to get over or medicate or counsel out of me. They were generative of the most important forms of self expression I'll ever create in my lifetime. It's the path I took to learn love." My rating would be higher if Yuknavitch narrated the entire book herself (and if perhaps this were more of a memoir), but 3.5 stars for this beautiful little read.
    more
  • Kari
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed the introduction and first chapter. I don't consider any of this a new idea or new material which I found a bit discouraging.
  • E. D. Watson
    January 1, 1970
    I would give this book 3.5 stars if I could, but I'm rounding up because it is beautifully written and also because the first half of it produced for me some pretty profound realizations about myself and others. The second half of the book lost steam -- or maybe I'd just realized all there was to realize about "misfittery." My biggest complaint is how possessive Yuknavitch is of the term "misfit," like being a misfit is Masons for weirdos. She's adamant that "not everyone is a misfit," but I wor I would give this book 3.5 stars if I could, but I'm rounding up because it is beautifully written and also because the first half of it produced for me some pretty profound realizations about myself and others. The second half of the book lost steam -- or maybe I'd just realized all there was to realize about "misfittery." My biggest complaint is how possessive Yuknavitch is of the term "misfit," like being a misfit is Masons for weirdos. She's adamant that "not everyone is a misfit," but I work at a public library and I'm not entirely convinced. There are loads of oddballs out there.I mean, I get that there are also lots of people wearing their Abercrombie everything, or sipping martinis at the country club, or rocking the fraternity lifestyle, or churching it up, and that maybe these people feel very much a part of whatever niche they've found. (And good on them.) But how does Yuknavitch know? It's a bit presumptuous. I've personally always thought that "fitting in" was a false idea; that everyone who seems to is either pretending or selling themselves out by conforming.Yuknavitch interweaves her own tragic narrative with the tragic narratives of other misfits, which add depth and texture to the book. I know there are a lot of people who relate to her losses, abuse, and trail of failures. But although Yuknavitch acknowledges that misfits don't have to come from a background of personal tragedy, that some people just don't fit into their culture or milieu for less obvious reasons, she doesn't include any such stories. That choice on her part annoyed me because A.) I feel that this sort of narrative is more difficult to articulate and therefore riskier; and B.) I am one of those people.
    more
  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    I'm definitely a misfit. For the most part I like not fitting in to any box and not being conventional-- unmarried, no children etc. etc. but sometimes it can be lonely. This is a wonderful short book about being a misfit and how to function and maybe have a fulfilling life. I'm definitely a work-in-progress on that and am giving myself until I turn 50. this book both inspires and comforts. "The fallen, the broken, the abused, the recovering, the ex-cons, the vets, the survivors, the introverted I'm definitely a misfit. For the most part I like not fitting in to any box and not being conventional-- unmarried, no children etc. etc. but sometimes it can be lonely. This is a wonderful short book about being a misfit and how to function and maybe have a fulfilling life. I'm definitely a work-in-progress on that and am giving myself until I turn 50. this book both inspires and comforts. "The fallen, the broken, the abused, the recovering, the ex-cons, the vets, the survivors, the introverted, the not quite right: We are not your enemy. We are not something to be embarrassed about. We are not lesser or failed." "Most misfits struggle against the story that's expected of them. You know, the cultural scripts of good citizenship that come at us in life: how to be a woman, how to be a man, how to love, how to marry, how to fit into society. MIsfits chafe at the stories placed in front of them or on top of them because nothing about our experiences in life matches up with the traditional or mainstream story line. We hit those story lines of identity and social organization head-on, and the subsequent wreck either destroys us or inspires us to forge original paths." TRUTH. "The other thing I leaned is that misfitting is partly caused by circumstance, and partly something that happens on the inside of a person, as when I wanted walk out of one reality and into another, which has now happened several times in my life. MIsfits know a great deal about how to step out of one reality and into another." "Which is to say that I have been like the people I am talking to you about, and some of you are too, and we are all standing in rooms next to one another, and the one language we can all understand, if we remember to, is empathy. Compassion."
    more
  • Patty
    January 1, 1970
    A friend gave me this book and I will never be able to talk with her about it and find out why she gave it to me. I don't know if she ever even read it. It was not worn or smudged until now.I was amazed as I began this little treasure because I wasn't expecting great things. When you begin this book you already have what you consider a good definition for a "misfit". Do you know one? Are you one? Hmmmm....Maybe I don't believe there are people that are misfits...Yet Yuknavitch says that she is o A friend gave me this book and I will never be able to talk with her about it and find out why she gave it to me. I don't know if she ever even read it. It was not worn or smudged until now.I was amazed as I began this little treasure because I wasn't expecting great things. When you begin this book you already have what you consider a good definition for a "misfit". Do you know one? Are you one? Hmmmm....Maybe I don't believe there are people that are misfits...Yet Yuknavitch says that she is one. The how? and why? and so much more are in these pages. She makes us think. "Misfits, from my point of view, are everything. The world needs us. Here is the story of why. I'd say I'm a misfit partly because of things that happened to me, and partly from things that come from the inside out. "I have marked so many pages that read almost like poetry and convey the point that Lidia is making so eloquently. "I'm the part of you that you don't want to admit is there. That's something I have to live with the rest of my life--the knowledge that I am capable of terrible things, even if I am also capaable of good things. Tell me: Am I so very different from you? Admitting we are a part of each other interrupts the motion of trying to make me into something else, some thing darker the you or dirtier than you or weaker than you or less intelligent than you. And yet the people I have met who have fallen are not darker, or dirtier, or more weak, or less intelligent than any of us. They are us. Our paths make a helix." To organize your thoughts and ideas and facts into such an organized engaging style will make Lidia Yukavitch a misfit that I will want to follow.
    more
  • Susanna
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not so sure about the "manifesto" part of the title -- I didn't see this book so much as a call to action or even an expression of principals as a sort of collective memoir and assurance to those outside the collective that they are not alone. I nearly gave it four stars instead of five because I'm not sure there was enough meat for me to continually return to it and turn it over in my head; but perhaps that's because I'm familiar enough with Lidia Yuknavitch's work that this volume enriches I'm not so sure about the "manifesto" part of the title -- I didn't see this book so much as a call to action or even an expression of principals as a sort of collective memoir and assurance to those outside the collective that they are not alone. I nearly gave it four stars instead of five because I'm not sure there was enough meat for me to continually return to it and turn it over in my head; but perhaps that's because I'm familiar enough with Lidia Yuknavitch's work that this volume enriches what I know about her and her message to the world rather than providing something new. If I'd come across this book as a twenty-year-old or a thirty-year-old alone in my bubble of weirdness, I believe this book would have blown my mind, so I'm going to five stars. Yuknavitch brings in the stories of others in their own words, which strengthens the book, I think, by bringing it outside her own story and finding commonality, especially in misfits who make art. In her words: "Quite often, misfits turn into artists of one sort or another. Making art is the most intense form of expression available to humans, and it is a real place where a misfit can not only exist but also find community without judgment. Artists are very good at stepping into and owning their misfit natures, because we want to live at the edges of culture, since the culture didn't make any sense to us and made us feel ugly or fat or stupid or crazy or weird or deviant or unwelcome. Art is a kind of cultural medicine.".
    more
  • Kelsey
    January 1, 1970
    This was a quick but wonderful read. Lidia does an amazing job of exploring this idea of "misfits", and its connection to trauma, and also unearthing the misfit in all of us. I also love how she wove in other essays from other people to provide a wonderful amalgamation of perspectives and narratives on the subject. I found it particularly resonated with me in how I could see some of it in my clients. I will let Lidia's own words speak for themselves though. There are some passages in this book This was a quick but wonderful read. Lidia does an amazing job of exploring this idea of "misfits", and its connection to trauma, and also unearthing the misfit in all of us. I also love how she wove in other essays from other people to provide a wonderful amalgamation of perspectives and narratives on the subject. I found it particularly resonated with me in how I could see some of it in my clients. I will let Lidia's own words speak for themselves though. There are some passages in this book that pack a serious punch: "No one is perfect. No one got where they are without occasionally falling to pieces. Maybe it's time we admit that we need all of us for any of us to make it. We may be misfits, but that's only if you look at us from the wrong angle. Turn us even slightly, and we brighten like the phenomenal colors inside a kaleidoscope." "If you are one of those people who has the ability to make it down to the bottom of the ocean, the ability to swim the dark waters without fear, the astonishing ability to move through life's worst crucibles and not die, then you also have the ability to bring something back to the surface that helps others in a way that they cannot achieve themselves." "Even at the moment of your failure, you are beautiful. You may not know this yet, but you have the ability to endlessly make yourself up from your own ruins. That's your beauty." Bam.
    more
  • ELK
    January 1, 1970
    An encouraging and honest memoir, though I had not been expecting a memoir. I had been hoping for something more... inclusive? Broad? Maybe something tapping more into the idea of the outsider and the alienation of not fitting in instead of focusing on one woman's struggles with addiction and a traumatic past. That particular story was wonderfully (if at times repetitively) told, but it doesn't quite fit the marketing. I'd say this feels like it had some more evolving to do on its path from TED An encouraging and honest memoir, though I had not been expecting a memoir. I had been hoping for something more... inclusive? Broad? Maybe something tapping more into the idea of the outsider and the alienation of not fitting in instead of focusing on one woman's struggles with addiction and a traumatic past. That particular story was wonderfully (if at times repetitively) told, but it doesn't quite fit the marketing. I'd say this feels like it had some more evolving to do on its path from TED talk to complete book. It probably needed another half hour in the oven.NotesBut here's the thing: we fail. Worse, nonheroes and nonheroic behavior can get coded as "weak" or wrong, feminine or ugly, or failure, even though the notion of a "hero" in the first place is a construct. Pure construct. When did we forget that we are not the stories we tell ourselves? How do we live our lives authentically when the stories have supersaturated and overtaken our selves? Even though it's a terrific archetype and story line, some bodies don't fit the hero's journey. ...Whereas in the misfit's myth, the stages are all mixed up, on top of each other, with false doors and creepy basements and Escheresque stairwells. pg. 96-98Where are the stories that might welcome us home in our imperfection?
    more
Write a review