Ongoingness: The End of a Diary (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


A quick, captivating book. Manguso is a master of the personal essay. Confronting her diary that she has kept for over twenty-five years, Ongoingness is a meditative contemporary memoir well-suited in its brevity and impressive in its scope. Without bogging down the reader with personal details of her life, Manguso's essay is instead a philosophical investigation of time, existence, and the impulse to document a life. Recommended for readers who enjoy Jenny Offill, Heidi Julavits, or Maggie Nelson.

— Erin

March 2015 Indie Next List


“Ongoingness is at once a calm analysis and a feverishly whispered confession. Built around the 'dark matter' of Manguso's 800,000-word diary, each capsule-sized entry is a meditation on memory, mortality, and what we leave behind -- both tangible and not. Highly recommended for fans of Joan Didion's The White Album and Leslie Jamison's The Empathy Exams.”
— Sarah Hollenbeck, Women & Children First, Chicago, IL

Description


Manguso] has written the memoir we didn t realize we needed. The New Yorker

In Ongoingness, Sarah Manguso continues to define the contours of the contemporary essay. In it, she confronts a meticulous diary that she has kept for twenty-five years. I wanted to end each day with a record of everything that had ever happened, she explains. But this simple statement belies a terror that she might forget something, that she might miss something important. Maintaining that diary, now eight hundred thousand words, had become, until recently, a kind of spiritual practice.

Then Manguso became pregnant and had a child, and these two Copernican events generated an amnesia that put her into a different relationship with the need to document herself amid ongoing time.

Ongoingness is a spare, meditative work that stands in stark contrast to the volubility of the diary it is a haunting account of mortality and impermanence, of how we struggle to find clarity in the chaos of time that rushes around and over and through us.

Bold, elegant, and honest . . . Ongoingness reads variously as an addict's testimony, a confession, a celebration, an elegy. The Paris Review

Manguso captures the central challenge of memory, of attentiveness to life . . . A spectacularly and unsummarizably rewarding read. Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

About the Author


Sarah Manguso is the author of three memoirs, Ongoingness, The Guardians, and The Two Kinds of Decay; a story collection; and two poetry collections. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she teaches at St. Mary's College.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781555977658
ISBN-10: 1555977650
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication Date: December 6th, 2016
Pages: 104
Language: English