“A new book by Sarah Manguso is always a cause for celebration. She is a poet-philosopher of the highest order who combines a laser-sharp intellect with a lyric gift and a capacious, generous heart. She is one of my favorite writers, and with 300 Arguments she deepens her inquiry into the very essence of what it is to be human.”
Sarah Manguso interviewed by Lorin Stein
Wednesday March 15, 2017
Author, memoirist and poet Sarah Manguso (Ongoingness, The Guardians) returned to the Center, where was interviewed by The Paris Review’s Editor-in-Chief Lorin Stein about her latest book, the essay-in-aphorisms 300 Arguments.
About 300 Arguments:
A “Proustian minimalist on the order of Lydia Davis” (Kirkus Reviews), Sarah Manguso is one of the finest literary artists at work today. To read her work is to witness acrobatic acts of compression in the service of extraordinary psychological and spiritual insight.
300 Arguments, a foray into the frontier of contemporary nonfiction writing, is at first glance a group of unrelated aphorisms. But, as in the work of David Markson, the pieces reveal themselves as a masterful arrangement that steadily gathers power. Manguso’s arguments about desire, ambition, relationships, and failure are pithy, unsentimental, and defiant, and they add up to an unexpected and renegade wisdom literature.
Sarah Manguso is the author of seven books. Her prose titles include 300 Arguments, an essay-in-aphorisms; Ongoingness, a meditation on motherhood and time; The Guardians, an investigation of friendship and suicide; The Two Kinds of Decay, a memoir of her experience with a chronic autoimmune disease, and Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape, a collection of very short stories. She is also the author of the poetry collections Siste Viator and The Captain Lands in Paradise, poems from which have won a Pushcart Prize and appeared in several editions of the Best American Poetry series. Her essays have appeared in Harper's, McSweeney's, the Paris Review, the New York Review of Books, and the New York Times Magazine, and her books have been translated into Chinese, German, Italian, and Spanish. She has taught creative writing at Columbia, Princeton, NYU, the New School, the Pratt Institute, the Otis College of Art and Design, and St. Mary's College, and she is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Rome Prize. She grew up near Boston and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Lorin Stein is an American critic, editor, and translator. He is the editor in chief of The Paris Review and an editor-at-large at Farrar, Straus and Giroux.