In Very Cold People, the narrator, Ruthie, looks back on her adolescence in the fictional Massachusetts town of Waitsfield, where the people are as cold and brittle as the New England winters. In spare, poetic fashion, Ruthie shares stories of neglect, poverty and sexual abuse. Very Cold People is a deeply moving account of one woman’s journey to free herself of the secrecy and shame of intergenerational trauma.
Manguso is the author of eight books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Her nonfiction books are 300 Arguments, Ongoingness, The Guardians, and The Two Kinds of Decay, and her poetry collections are Siste Viator and The Captain Lands in Paradise. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Hodder Fellowship, and the Rome Prize. Born and raised in Massachusetts, she now lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches creative writing at Antioch University.
“Manguso’s attention to the chilliness and reservation of certain New Englanders crackles like a room-temperature beverage poured over ice.” —Washington Post. “Though dealing with life’s ugly, messy truths, her writing is compact and beautiful.” —New York Times. “Manguso is an exquisitely astute writer.”—Boston Globe.