In 2008, one of Sarah Manguso's oldest friends eloped 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.
'Nobody understands how I feel,' we often think (mistakenly) in times of loss. But Manguso not only understands, she can articulate it in the precisest and most unexpected of images--an unrelated car accident, a bowl of Italian candies, a swim in the ocean. What results is a memoir that reveals not the just intimacies of the writer's life, but of your own. Most moving is that "The Guardians" covers a subject so rarely recognized in our society, the grief from the death of a friend." --Leigh Newman, Oprah.com, "Book of the Week" "Sarah Manguso's "The Guardians" goes to hell and back . . . The book majors in bone-on-bone rawness, exposed nerve endings . . . With" The Guardians," I did something I do when I love a book: start covering my mouth when I read; this is very pure and elemental, and I wanted nothing coming between me and the page." --David Shields, "Los Angeles Review of Books" "A bittersweet elegy to a friend who 'eloped' from a locked psychiatric ward . . . [Manguso] explores the extent to which we are our friends' guardians and, in outliving them, the guardians of their memory . . . Manguso's writing manages, in carefully honed bursts of pointed, poetic observation, to transcend the darkness and turn it into something beautiful. The results are also deeply instructive, not in the manner we've come to fatuously call "self-help" but in the way that good literature expands and illuminates our realm of experience." --Heller McAlpin, "Barnes and Noble Review"
Sarah Manguso is the author of the memoir The Two Kinds of Decay the short-story collection Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape, and two books of poetry, Siste Viator and The Captain Lands in Paradise.