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300 Arguments (Graywolf Press)
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 ofcompression 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 wise piece of literature.
Praise for 300 Arguments
“A writer's life, solitary and complex, broken apart—not into shards but puzzle pieces. . . . A slim, poetic self-portrait that opens up as you read it and stays in the mind.”—Kirkus Reviews
“300 Arguments shook me. It’s dark, but the darkness comes from a refusal to look away. Its humor is wounded but present. Is it possibly a sort of novel? The writer says somewhere, ‘This book is the good sentences from the novel I didn’t write.’ The idea holds up when applied, and the attentive reader will intuit an encompassing narrative. Sarah Manguso deserves many such readers.”—JOHN JEREMIAH SULLIVAN
“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.”—DANI SHAPIRO
Sarah Manguso is the author of three book-length essays, Ongoingness, The Guardians, and The Two Kinds of Decay; a story collection; and two poetry collections. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she teaches at St. Mary’s College.
Photo by Andy Ryan
Ethan Nosowsky is Editorial Director at Graywolf Press. He began his career at Farrar, Straus and Giroux and has also been Editorial Director at McSweeney’s. He has edited books by Jeffery Renard Allen, Hilton Als, Kevin Barry, David Byrne, Vikram Chandra, Geoff Dyer, Dave Eggers, Sarah Manguso, Maggie Nelson, and Jenny Offill among many others. He lives in Oakland, California.