Episode 53 — Sarah Manguso


Sarah Manguso is today’s guest.  She’s the author of the new book The Guardians: An Elegy, now available from Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.

Megan O’Grady, writing for Vogue, says:

Shortly after returning home from a fellowship year in Rome, poet and memoirist Sarah Manguso received word that her old college friend Harris had fled a psychiatric hospital and jumped in front of a train. In The Guardians: An Elegy, the writer explores, in prose that singes with precision and honesty, the many ambiguities surrounding the tragedy . . . A long friendship is a crucial orientation point, and Manguso captures with great delicacy the spinning compass of her grief, and its accompanying jumble of anger, disappointments, corrupted memories—and love.

Very pleased to have Sarah on the program to discuss her terrific new book.

Topics of conversation include:  grief, suicide, friendship, mystery, memory, artifacts, death, Italy, psychosis, therapy, reality, talking dogs, youth, mental illness, crystalline awareness, autoimmune disease, paralysis, funerals, good moods, self-protection, Manhattan, Chambers Street, Brooklyn, Harris’s penis, sex, Cambridge, Harvard, chemistry, composers, sex, kindness, temporal remove, attention span, truth, panic, time, and sentimentality.

Monologue topics:  compression, elevation, frustration, pulverization, tonal dissonance, Giroux, large corporate plushies, child fear, and awkward goodbyes.