Sarah Manguso wanted to write a memoir about her experience of growing up in a 400-year-old town just outside of Boston, but the novel form chose her and her protagonist, Ruth, tells the story instead. Ruth is coming of age in a very cold, very white, town where a lot goes unsaid. The writing is sparse and though not a lot is happening, the story is incredibly tense. It is a quietly heartbreaking exploration of whiteness, class and generational trauma.

Very Cold People; Sarah Manguso