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Book Title: The Guardians: An Elegy for a Friend|
The author of the book: Sarah Manguso
Edition: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Date of issue: February 28th 2012
ISBN 13: 9780374167240
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 573 KB
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Loaded: 1414 times
Reader ratings: 6.6
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The Guardians opens with a story from the July 24, 2008, edition of the Riverdale Press that begins, “An unidentified white man was struck and instantly killed by a Metro-North train last night as it pulled into the station on West 254th Street.” Sarah Manguso writes: “The train’s engineer told the police that the man was alone and that he jumped. The police officers pulled the body from the track and found no identification. The train’s 425 passengers were transferred to another train and delayed about twenty minutes.”
The Guardians is an elegy for Manguso’s friend Harris, two years after he escaped from a psychiatric hospital and jumped under that train. The narrative contemplates with unrelenting clarity their crowded postcollege apartment, Manguso’s fellowship year in Rome, Harris’s death and the year that followed—the year of mourning and the year of Manguso’s marriage. As Harris is revealed both to the reader and to the narrator, the book becomes a monument to their intimacy and inability to express their love to each other properly, and to the reverberating effects of Harris’s presence in and absence from Manguso’s life. There is grief in the book but also humor, as Manguso marvels at the unexpected details that constitute a friendship. The Guardians explores the insufficiency of explanation and the necessity of the imagination in making sense of anything.
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Read information about the authorSarah Manguso (b. 1974) is an American writer and poet. In 2007, she was awarded the Joseph Brodsky Rome Prize Fellowship in literature by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her memoir The Two Kinds of Decay (2008), was reviewed by the New York Times Sunday Book Review and named a 2008 "Best Nonfiction Book of the Year" by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Her poems and prose have appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Believer, Boston Review, The London Review of Books, McSweeney’s, The New Republic, and The Paris Review, and twice in the Best American Poetry series. She was the Hodder Fellow in Poetry at Princeton in 2003–2004, and has been awarded fellowships at the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference, Yaddo, and MacDowell Colony, and a Pushcart Prize.
She received her B.A. from Harvard University and her M.F.A. from the Iowa Writer's Workshop. She has taught creative writing at the Pratt Institute and in the graduate program at the New School, and currently teaches in the graduate program at Columbia University. She lives in Brooklyn.
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