Precise and boldly imagined, Manguso’s work is frequently a kind of unflinching self-portraiture created through lyric gestures. In an interview with SMITH Magazine, Manguso stated, “I am interested in deep alertness, and I think it’s possible to be deeply alert to moments that are already over.” In a Bookforum review of The Guardians, Jenny Davidson noted, “In the case of some other book, it might be a criticism to observe that the author’s private language has only been partially translated into a meaningful idiom, but here it represents the book’s most distinctive stylistic achievement: Manguso’s embrace of rhetorical failure itself constitutes an unusual and strangely affecting lament.”
Manguso’s honors include the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, and a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. She has taught at the Pratt Institute, Columbia University, and the New School. Manguso is a dual citizen of the United States and Ireland.