Very Cold People: A Novel (Hardcover)

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Very Cold People: A Novel (Hardcover)

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The eagerly awaited debut novel from “one of the most original and exciting writers working in English today” (Jhumpa Lahiri): a masterwork on growing up in—and out of—the suffocating constraints of small-town America.
 
ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022—Oprah Daily, Good Housekeeping, The Week, The Millions, She Reads, Lit Hub

“My parents didn’t belong in Waitsfield, but they moved there anyway.”

For Ruthie, the frozen town of Waitsfield, Massachusetts, is all she has ever known.

Once home to the country’s oldest and most illustrious families—the Cabots, the Lowells: the “first, best people”—by the tail end of the twentieth century, it is an unforgiving place awash with secrets.
 
Forged in this frigid landscape Ruthie has been dogged by feelings of inadequacy her whole life. Hers is no picturesque New England childhood but one of swap meets and factory seconds and powdered milk. Shame blankets her like the thick snow that regularly buries nearly everything in Waitsfield.
 
As she grows older, Ruthie slowly learns how the town’s prim facade conceals a deeper, darker history, and how silence often masks a legacy of harm—from the violence that runs down the family line to the horrors endured by her high school friends, each suffering a fate worse than the last. For Ruthie, Waitsfield is a place to be survived, and a girl like her would be lucky to get out alive.

In her eagerly anticipated debut novel, Sarah Manguso has written, with characteristic precision, a masterwork on growing up in—and out of—the suffocating constraints of a very old, and very cold, small town. At once an ungilded portrait of girlhood at the crossroads of history and social class as well as a vital confrontation with an all-American whiteness where the ice of emotional restraint meets the embers of smoldering rage, Very Cold People is a haunted jewel of a novel from one of our most virtuosic literary writers.
Sarah Manguso is the author of eight books. Her previous book, 300 Arguments, a genre-defying work of aphoristic nonfiction, was named a best book of the year by more than twenty publications. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Hodder Fellowship, and the Rome Prize. Her work is regularly featured across The New York Times Magazine, O: The Oprah Magazine, and The New Yorker, among others. She grew up in Massachusetts and now lives in Los Angeles. Very Cold People is her first novel.
Product Details ISBN: 9780593241226
ISBN-10: 0593241223
Publisher: Hogarth
Publication Date: February 8th, 2022
Pages: 208
Language: English
“Sarah Manguso is one of the most original and exciting writers working in English today. Every word feels necessary, and she’s redefining genre as she goes.”—Jhumpa Lahiri, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Interpreter of Maladies

Very Cold People knocked me to my knees. So precise, so austere, so elegant, this story is devastatingly familiar to those of us who know the loneliness of growing up in a place of extreme emotional restraint. Manguso is one of my favorite writers, and this book is a revelation.”—Lauren Groff, author of Florida

“A haunted masterpiece, written with the precision of a miniaturist and the vulnerability of true heartache. I wept more than once; I recognized myself more than once. Very Cold People proves yet again that Manguso is one of the greats.”—Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Less

“I loved every sentence, thought, and gesture in this perfect novel. Sarah Manguso has painted a deeply moving portrait of the stark unreality of childhood.”—Catherine Lacey, author of Pew

“A poignant and unnerving masterwork about growing up in a dominator society, told with the concision, carefulness, and sense of mystery that we’ve come to expect from Sarah Manguso.”—Tao Lin, author of Leave Society

“This gritty coming-of-age tale follows friendships, crushes, and fantasies. . . Manguso paints a haunting portrait of innocence lost . . . masterfully unveil[ing] the tragic and disturbing fates of girls in Waitsfield. A gripping debut novel on the vulnerability of girlhood for readers who enjoy steady but intense storytelling.”Booklist

“A bracing coming-of-age story and master class in controlled style . . . Manguso is a lovely writer about unlovely things. . . . But the elegance doesn’t diminish the emotional impact of her story and the journey of becoming mature enough to understand transgression, be horrified by it, and search for a means to escape it . . . A taut, blisteringly smart novel, both measured and rageful.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)