Bonnie's Reviews > The Two Kinds of Decay

The Two Kinds of Decay by Sarah Manguso
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's review
Jul 26, 2011

it was amazing

Why this book doesn't have 5 stars from everyone is beyond me. READ THIS. It's an amazing, engrossing, and thought-provoking memoir that doesn't drown itself or its readers in sentimentality about the woe-is-me-bygone past. The narrator tells her story (not narrative, but not poetry) about her long experience with a life-threatening disease, and she admiringly distances herself from her own body while exhibiting rare and confident insight about that body. "Can't catch my breath all morning," she writes, "because of a wildness in my body that is like birds flying me toward his body" (166). Beautiful language and striking clarity throughout, as in here: "Sometimes I can feel myself getting close to finding the thing in spacetime I lost by getting well" (166). Her humility astounds me. And her awareness of the way she's writing and how she's writing this memoir are beautiful.

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