The Guardians | Granta

  • Published: 07/02/2013
  • ISBN: 9781847083111
  • 129x20mm
  • 128 pages

The Guardians

Sarah Manguso

In 2008, one of Sarah Manguso’s oldest friends discharged himself from a New York City psychiatric hospital and threw himself in front of a train; the last ten hours of his life are unaccounted for. In this new memoir, Manguso continues her attention to illness, suffering, and time’s relentless forward momentum, which prevents total recovery from grief. As she did brilliantly in her first memoir, The Two Kinds of Decay, Manguso explores the insufficiency of explanation and the necessity of the imagination in making sense of anything at all.

A moving elegy that also happens to be an original, probing, shiningly intelligent work of literature

James Lasdun

A moving, personal account of Harris' death, and the confusion, disillusionment, guilt and grief that accompany it. The Guardians is... a comment on the fleeting, relentless and unpredictable nature of existence

Naomi Polonsky, Evening Standard

An ode to the known and the unknown, to intimacy in life and separation in death and simply to the death of a friend... a masterpiece.

Iain Finlayson, The Times

The Author

Sarah Manguso is the author of two books of poetry and the short-story collection Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape, included with story collections by Dave Eggers and Deb Olin Unferth in McSweeney’s One Hundred and Forty-Five Stories in a Small Box. Honours for her writing include a Pushcart Prize, the Joseph Brodsky Rome Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome, the Truman Capote Fellowship at the University of Iowa and the Isabella Gardner Fellowship at teh MacDowell Colony.

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From the Same Author

The Two Kinds of Decay

At twenty-one, just as she was starting to comprehend the puzzles of adulthood, Sarah Manguso was faced with another: a wildly unpredictable autoimmune disease that appeared suddenly and tore through her twenties, paralysing her for weeks at a time, programming her first to expect nothing from life and then, furiously, to expect everything. In this captivating story, Manguso recalls her struggle: arduous blood cleansings, collapsed veins, multiple chest catheters, depression, the deaths of friends and strangers, addiction, and, worst of all for a writer, the trite metaphors that accompany prolonged illness. A book of tremendous grace and humour, The Two Kinds of Decay transcends the very notion of what an account of illness can and should be.

Sarah Manguso on Granta.com

Essays & Memoir | The Online Edition

My Body

Sarah Manguso

‘When I was twenty-one I became a citizen of the hospital.’