- Published: 02/02/2012
- ISBN: 9781847083098
- 192 pages
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.
Beautifully crafted... Remarkable, it stridently reminds the reader not to wish one's mundane, routine life away - in case that wish is granted
Honest, insightful... unusually piercing
Independent on Sunday
Sharp, funny, moving ... a masterpiece of tone and attention
Tom Jones, Contributing Editor, London Review of Books
From the Same Author
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.
Sarah Manguso on Granta.com
Essays & Memoir | The Online Edition
‘When I was twenty-one I became a citizen of the hospital.’