Ongoingness Cover


The End of a Diary

By Sarah Manguso

Graywolf Press, Hardcover, 9781555977030, 104pp.

Publication Date: March 3, 2015


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 a memoir, "The Two Kinds of Decay"; books of poetry, "Siste Viator" and "The Captain Lands in Paradise"; and a short-story collection, "Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape".