“Vanessa Veselka: Let’s talk more about crying. When do your characters do it? Do they do it? If they do is it like masturbation, mostly done in private?
Lidia Yuknavitch: No! Not in private! In fact, I consider it part of my writerly goal to get the crying out of the closet. Again, relegated to a ‘feminized’ space, a privatized space, a space of weakness. But crying can be a power move. There are studies of chimps that show that. In nonfiction and fiction I represent crying as a set of power choices, even when the crying is connected to vulnerability.
VV: I notice my characters tend to cry when they’re mad, in public, or walking down the center of streets.
LY: I love that about your characters. The opening of my Joan of Arc book is her crying sfter she has basically slaughtered her enemies.
VV: That’s awesome. That’s so much more to the heart of how I think of crying. Overwhelm and conflict. I’m pretty sure I would cry coming out of a battle rage and looking at the people I’d slaughtered.”
from Violence, a 2012 chapbook on Guillotine press