In "Ongoingness: The End of a Diary" Sarah Manguso confronts a meticulous diary that she has kept for twenty-five years. She says she wanted to end each day with a record of everything that had ever happened. But she was terrified that she might forget something, 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 standing in stark contrast to the volubility of the diary. In this collection of essays, Manguso confronts issues of mortality and impermanence, of how we struggle to find clarity in the chaos of time that rushes around and over and through us.
Honors for Manguso's writing include a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Rome Prize. Her essays have appeared in Harper's, the New York Review of Books, and the New York Times Magazine, and her poems have won a Pushcart Prize and appeared in four editions of the Best American Poetry series. She grew up near Boston and now lives in Los Angeles.