Literary Cocktail Hour hosts author Sarah Manguso
This month’s Literary Cocktail Hour features a conversation with Sarah Manguso, author of “Very Cold People.”

Literary Cocktail Hour hosts author Sarah Manguso

BRATTLEBORO — The Brattleboro Literary Festival invites everyone to join them on Friday, July 8, at 5 p.m., for their monthly online Literary Cocktail Hour with acclaimed author Sarah Manguso in conversation with Vermont author Makenna Goodman.

Manguso's new novel, Very Cold People, takes place in the frozen, snow-padded, (and totally fictional) town of Waitsfield, Mass. It is a town that is not picturesque New England, but an unforgiving place awash with secrets.

Very Cold People tells the story of Ruthie - the lead character - through her eyes, from the shame handed down by her immigrant forebears and indomitable mother, to the violences endured by her high school friends, each suffering a fate worse than the last.

“Part social commentary and part Gothic horror, Very Cold People is an ungilded portrait of girlhood at the crossroads of history and social class. In this highly anticipated debut novel, Manguso has produced a masterwork on how very cold places make for very cold people, and it takes a pitiless look at an all-American whiteness,” states a news release on the author's website.

Manguso is a fiction writer, essayist, and poet. Her other work includes the nonfiction books 300 Arguments, Ongoingness, The Guardians, and The Two Kinds of Decay; the poetry collections Siste Viator and The Captain Lands in Paradise; and the story collection Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape.

Her work has been recognized by an American Academy of Arts and Letters Literature Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Hodder Fellowship, and the Rome Prize. She grew up in Massachusetts and now lives in Los Angeles, where she currently teaches creative writing at Antioch University.

Goodman is the author of The Shame, which was named a Harvard Review Favorite Book of 2020. Based in Vermont, Goodman is a former editor of books on agriculture and food who writes about, among other things, the intersection of land stewardship and capitalism.

This online event is free and open to the public. Register at

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