A Literary Cocktail Hour: ‘Very Cold People’ with Sarah Manguso | Arts And Culture

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

Sarah’s new novel, “Very Cold People,” which takes place in the frozen, snow-padded town of Waitsfield, Massachusetts, is all she has ever known. But this is no picturesque New England. Once “home of the bean and the cod, where Lowells speak only to Cabots, and Cabots speak only to God,” by the tail end of the 20th century it is an unforgiving place awash with secrets. “Very Cold People” tells Ruthie’s story through her eyes — this is her story. 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.

Manguso will be in conversation with Vermont writer Makenna Goodman.

Makenna Goodman is the author of “The Shame,” which was named a Harvard Review Favorite Book of 2020, a White Review Recommended Read, a Refinery29 Best New Book, a Literary Hub Recommended Read, a Bustle Most Anticipated Book, a Boston.com Book Club Pick, and more. Goodman is a former editor of books on agriculture and food who writes about, among other things, the intersection of land stewardship and capitalism.

Literary Cocktail Hour is free and open to the public. Register at bit.ly/LitCocktail22.

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