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Ongoingness: The End of a Diary

Ongoingness: The End of a Diary

"Sarah Manguso has my head in her lap and she is stroking my hair and she is telling me everything is going to be okay. This is a necessary read for writers and anyone having a hard time searching for meaning."

Melissa L.-O.

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Author Sarah Manguso
Publisher Graywolf Press
Publication Date 2015-03-03
Section New Hardcover - Biography / All Staff Suggestions / Non-Fiction Suggestions / Melissa L.-O.
Type New
Format Hardcover
ISBN 9781555977030

A dazzling philosophical investigation of the challenge of living in the present, by a brilliant practitioner of the new essay

In her third book, which continues to define the contours of the contemporary essay, Sarah Manguso 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 800,000 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.

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