RRP: 27.95 (inc. GST)
Pub. Date: 2008
At twenty-one, the poet Sarah Manguso developed a neurological disease so rare it didn’t even have a real name. A wildly unpredictable disease that appeared suddenly and tore through her twenties, vanishing and then returning, paralyzing her for weeks at a time, programming her first to expect nothing from life and then, furiously, to expect everything.
In this captivating memoir Manguso recalls her nine-year struggle: arduous blood cleansings, collapsed veins, multiple chest catheters, the deaths of friends and strangers, addiction, depression, and, worst of all for a writer, the trite metaphors that accompany prolonged illness.
Ultimately, hers is not so much a chronicle of triumph or tragedy as it is simply a story about learning to pay attention. Alternating between moments of acute sensitivity and extraordinary detatchment, with grace, self-awareness and dark humour, The Two Kinds of Decay is an unusually beautiful and moving memoir that redefines our understanding of illness and survival.
* New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
* New York Post Required Reading
* San Francisco Chronicle Lit Pick
* Publishers Weekly starred review
'A remarkable, clear-eyed account that turns horror into something humane and beautiful.’— New York Times Book Review
'Whilst Sarah Manguso’s style is spare and unsentimental, she communicates the intensely personal experience of nine years battling a rare blood disease with an immediacy that is powerful and moving.' — Readings Best Books of 2008