300 Arguments (Graywolf, 2017)

300 Arguments, a pocket-sized foray into the frontier of contemporary nonfiction writing, is, at first glance, a group of unrelated aphorisms. But the pieces reveal themselves as a masterful arrangement that steadily gathers power. To read them is to witness acrobatic acts of compression in the service of extraordinary psychological and spiritual insight. Manguso’s arguments about desire, ambition, and failure add up to an unexpected and renegade wisdom literature.

“Sarah Manguso is a poet-philosopher of the highest order who combines a laser-sharp intellect with a lyric gift and a capacious, generous heart. With 300 Arguments she deepens her inquiry into the very essence of what it is to be human.”
Dani Shapiro

Praise

300 Arguments shook me.” (John Jeremiah Sullivan)… “Almost mathematical in its precision.” (San Francisco Chronicle)… “I wanted to gift it to everyone I know, read it aloud to strangers on the bus, and transcribe it by hand in its entirety like a holy text.” (Portland Mercury)… “A great, great, great book. If Springsteen wrote this, we'd be screaming about it.” (Penn Jillette)… “So good that I keep throwing it across the room and going to pick it up again.” (Entropy)… “The best example of this genre I’ve experienced since reading Nietzsche in college.” (3:AM)

Selected reviews