Ongoingness: the End of a Diary (Hardback)Sarah Manguso (author)
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'This small-sized book has immense power. Marvel at the clarity and fire.' Zadie Smith
Sarah Manguso kept a meticulous diary 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 conceals a terror that she might miss out something important. Maintaining that diary became a daily attempt to remember every detail, to stop the passage of time.
Then Manguso became pregnant and had a child, and these two events slowly and irrevocably changed her relationship to her life and also to her diary.
In this moving memoir Sarah Manguso confesses her life long struggle to let go. Ongoingness is a beautiful, daring and honest and shifting work that grapples with writing and motherhood.
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Number of pages: 96
Weight: 204 g
Dimensions: 185 x 117 x 21 mm
Written without vanity, Ongoingness is a sparse, poignant essay on mortality, memory and transience, and how her experience of these has changed after motherhood. * Financial Times *
The memoir form is shaken up and reinvented in this brilliant meditation on time and record-keeping. Ongoingness is a short book but there's nothing small about it. Sarah Manguso covers vast territory with immense subtlety and enviable wit. -- Jenny Offill
Using placid, plainspoken speech, Ongoingness 'sees through the surface to the depths,' as Virginia Woolf, another time-traveler, once put it. Manguso's alchemy here is to turn an homage to missing excess (her unprinted diary) into a work suffused with its own fullness and gravity -- Maggie Nelson
This small-sized book has immense power. Marvel at the clarity and fire. -- Zadie Smith
Sarah Manguso's works are brief but their effects are moving and lingering. * Elle *
This absorbing book - brief as a breath - examines the need to record. It seems, even if she never spells it out, that writing the diary was a compulsive rebuffing of mortality. Like all diarists, she was trying to commandeer time. A diary gives the writer the illusion of stopping time in its tracks. And time - making her peace with its ongoingness - is Manguso's obsession. Her book hints at diary-keeping as neurosis, a hoarding that is almost a syndrome, a malfunction, a grief at having no way to halt loss. * Observer *
[Manguso] has written the memoir we didn't realize we needed. * The New Yorker *
Bold, elegant, and honest . . . Ongoingness reads variously as an addict's testimony, a confession, a celebration, an elegy. * The Paris Review *
Heaven is the beautiful intense prose of Sarah Manguso. -- Poroshista Khapour
Ongoingness confronts the deepest processes and myths of life and death: birth, marriage, illness, mourning, motherhood, art. Underwriting this book, as is true of all of Manguso's books, is writing itself. Or, rather, the writing is about itself in the best, most vital sense. Our author/narrator/speaker/heroine is never not asking the most fundamental question, namely, Why live? The seriousness of the inquiry gives this book extraordinary purpose, momentum, and value. I am in awe. -- David Shields
In Ongoingness some of her lines were so perfect and proverbial that I copied them in my diary because I needed that reminder. Especially on motherhood and self-effacement. Manguso's lines are denser than diamonds. -- Meena Kandasamy, author of When I Hit You
Manguso captures the central challenge of memory, of attentiveness to life . . . A spectacularly and unsummarizably rewarding read. -- Maria Popova * Brain Pickings *
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