There is certainly something impressive about the tome, the multi-volume sprawl of a long intricate narrative that spans thousands of pages. And yet, my favourite indulgence is literary satisfaction that comes from something that captivates me with far fewer words. A book that can be consumed in a single sitting, that requires nothing but an afternoon in a chair, a morning curled in bed. The Guardians: An Elegy is Sarah Manguso’s second memoir. The first detailed a rare autoimmune condition that ravaged her body for years. This new and heartbreaking work is about two kinds of love, friendship and romantic, and one kind of death, suicide. It spans only 104 pages. It had me rapt with every word, every sorrowful ache of memory, every slip her mind takes as she deals with loss and new love in slim, poetic paragraphs.
Sarah Manguso, the things you do to me.