I happened upon an excerpt from “The Guardians: An Elegy” by Sarah Manguso thanks to good old Twitter. The excerpt is in the Paris Review. It begins with a story from the Riversdale Press that tells the story of a man who throws himself in front of a train killing himself. This man happens to be the author’s friend and the book tells Manguso’s story with her friend, Harris, never far out of view. it is an elegy, so there is the required sadness but if it the excerpt is anything to go by, it is a well written book and I am hooked.
“Eventually everyone just called the place Chambers Street. We all knew it was No. 119. Keys were given away and lost. Things fell into the floorboard holes. Drugs got stolen. Tenants came and went and their artifacts accumulated—a framed drawing, a piggy bank, a bong. Someone brought home a puppy. Someone put on a nitrous-oxide puppet show. Someone dropped the air-conditioning unit out the back window and through a grocery storefront. Someone published a novel about the place. Someone tried to hang himself in the bathroom.”
I will add it to my list of books to read for 2012.
I have found some of the author’s work on her website, and she is a poet as well. I find her writing over all refreshing; however, I am not as impressed with the poetry as with the prose.
Happy reading and Happy V-day!