The Most Beautiful Sentences in Literature

stegner quote
This is the “best sentence” that resonates most with me today.  What’s yours?  Click on this link, or the photo, for Jennifer Schaffer’s list on Buzz Feed.
Here, not the best sentences, but the first sentences of the books that happen to be on my desk as I prepare for my memoir workshop at the next residency.  See which ones you recognize:

“I always imagined I would write a book, if only a small one, that would carry one away, into a realm that could not be measured nor even remembered.”
“Whenever my mother drove us from Coastal Mississippi to New Orleans to visit my father on the weekend, she would say, “Lock the doors.”
“When my mother was angry with me, which was often, she said, “The Devil led us to the wrong crib.”
Please, she whispers, how may I help you?”
“So I guess you’ve heard about the controversy at the prison in Iraq…the abuse of Iraqi prisoners.”
“I’m sitting with my legs straight out on an examination table at the Georgia Warm Springs Polio Foundation, where I have just arrived.”
“Creamy and flushed and covered with fuzz, our baby daughter was like a delicious peach.”
“I found out I was pregnant the same day that my father’s rapid weight loss and chronic shortness of  breath were positively diagnosed as end-stage pulmonary fibrosis.”

What a conversation we are having here.  What different worlds.  Returning so often to family, living in the aftermath unbroken.

Important Announcement

The Board of Directors for Goddard College have made the difficult decision to close the college at the end of the 2024 Spring term.  


Current Goddard students will have the opportunity to complete their degrees at the same tuition rate through a teach-out with like-minded institution, Prescott College. Updates and scholarship funds will be available in the coming weeks and months. Information will be posted to

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