The Guardians: An Elegy for a Friend by Sarah Manguso
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"To claim oneself a writer when one is not a writer is an insult to writers, but to call oneself crazy when one is not crazy is an insult to crazy people. It belittles what they've accomplished." (91) -- As the title suggests this is in praise of a friend and of love. It is also in praise of the man who was sick and does not talk against his illness. This is a moving elegy about a woman's mourning and one of its biggest themes is journey and searching. Like Harris whose last ten hours consisted of walking Manguso writes in search of. She looks for closure, she looks for meaning, for coincidence, she especially looks for blame. Whether it's to blame herself, mental illness, psychotropic drugs, people, life, death, she writes and writes and writes in hopes that a thing will come out of this. That thing takes on the form of regret, of joy, of guilt and maybe resentment.
I loved this book. There were too many moments I softly gasped recognizing myself in her and her words. I'd imagine that there's no proper way to discuss a loved one's suicide but this comes pretty close.
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