Friday, September 26, 2008

Making a Literary Life Friday: Best Sentence of the Week

The sentence can be your own, that one that was too perfect and you stopped and stared at it before moving on. The sentence might be from one of the many books littering your home. It made you laugh, cry, shake your head in appreciation. It was:

Lisa Marnell
Lisa is away today and will weigh in next time.

Amy MacKinnon
"The distant irregular trills of Angelica's uncertain fingers stumbling across the piano keys downstairs, the floury aroma of the first loaves rising from the kitchen: from within this thick foliage of domestic safety his coiled rage found her unprepared." Angelica, Arthur Phillips

I met Arthur at Writers Read for Twain (you've got to see this photo!) this week and he was the consummate gentleman. Tasha Alexander raved about his books, so naturally I bought one. He is as brilliant as he is kind. But I'll tell you all about it on Tuesday!

Hannah Roveto
"He was heading into memory number two, I might as well tell you that straight up, because how I'm supposed to get him in and out of all these memories in a smooth way so nobody notices all the coming and going I don't know." Jennifer Egan, The Keep.

I love that as the moment the reader is promised intertwined narratives.

Lynne Griffin
"My childhood grudges, my righteous indignation, and my master's degree didn't count for squat. My Phi Beta Kappa key unlocked nothing. I was my failings and my actions period."

Okay, that's more than a sentence from Wally Lamb's soon-to-be released novel, The Hour I First Believed. He is a master, breaking rules effortlessly, while managing with grace to tell a powerful story. Wow! I'm reading it like a writer and learning so much.

4 comments:

Lisa said...

"The new leaves on the maple stirred and quaked; sparrows cartwheeled over the wet field like glazier's points against the sky, and the swallows resting in the eaves plunged into the morning air."

This is from THE STORY OF EDGAR SAWTELLE, by David Wroblewski. Every sentence was perfect.

Amy MacKinnon said...

That does it, I must read this book. I didn't believe the hype, Lisa, but you and that sentence have convinced me.

Lisa said...

Amy, I am always stubbornly resistant to popular books and had I not received a copy in July from my signed first edition book club, I would not have read it. In fact, if Oprah had announced it as a book club selection before I'd read it, I would probably have set it aside. I am a little irrational that way. I am a huge fan of Hamlet. In fact, I've got two film adaptations on DVD and even though one could easily love this story without knowing Hamlet, for me, knowing the story so well only enhanced my enjoyment of it. My Uncle Denis is reading it now and called me last night just to tell me that he's been staying up way past his bedtime because it's so hard to put down. I think this book is a masterpiece.

The Writers' Group said...

Okay, now you've got me, too. We'll have to start a virtual book club on the side...

Hannah