Sunday Sentence

In which I participate in David Abrams’s “Sunday Sentence” project, sharing the best sentence I’ve read during the past week, “out of context and without commentary.”

Okay, “commentary alert”! This week, I had to choose two sentences. They’re both from the same piece.

Just as it is considered a breach of prison etiquette for visitors to ask the incarcerated what brought them, say, to Cayuga Correctional Facility, the rules for casual social exchange in the weeks from mid-May to late June ought to require that no one ever ask anyone with a day job what she is doing “for the summer.”

and

It is that summer supplies energy to whole new channels of resentment: toward the painter who has secured the three-week fellowship at Yaddo; toward the academic who is teaching a course at the University of Edinburgh; toward the psychotherapist who is decamping to Wellfleet; toward the inveterate bohemian who has sublet her Chelsea apartment to a group of professional clowns so that she can travel with her daughter through Patagonia.

The source of these insightful sentences? Ginia Bellafante, writing for The New York Times. My only quibble is the piece’s title: “Sympathy for the Working Mother.” (One need not be a mother to identify with and applaud these particular lines! I daresay many of my fellow writers-with-day-jobs, regardless of parenting status, may share these feelings.)

Happy Summer, whatever your plans may (or may not) be!
Happy Summer, whatever your plans may (or may not) be!

Sunday Sentence

In which I participate in David Abrams’s “Sunday Sentence” project, sharing the best sentence I’ve read during the past week, “out of context and without commentary.”

Pulsing within him was a cacaphony of tongues: the German of his parents, the Yiddish of his grandparents, the Ukrainian of the family’s domestic help, the Ruthenian and Romanian of the locals he’d known as a child, the Russian of the Red Army, the Hebrew of his new nation.

Source: William Giraldi, “Grasping for Words, Grappling with the Past: The Long Journey of Israeli Novelist Aharon Appelfeld,” for The New Republic.

Sunday Sentence

Doll PalaceIn which I participate in David Abrams’s “Sunday Sentence” project, which asks us to share the best sentence(s) we’ve read during the past week, “out of context and without commentary.”

Her husband was going on about family and tests and prevention and the passing of time, life’s great eraser, to make way for a future that included healthy children, unafflicted children, a future that would render Jack an unfortunate memory in an otherwise perfectly wonderful life, one worth envying, I assure you.

Source: “Jew,” a story in Sara Lippmann’s forthcoming collection Doll Palace (Dock Street Press)

Okay, so here again I have to break the “rules” and comment. I haven’t made a whole lot of new “writer friends” here in New York since my move from Massachusetts seven years ago, but Sara Lippmann is one, and she’s a treasure. Not only is Sara an incredibly talented writer, but she is also an incredibly generous and gracious person. I’m so lucky to have friends like Sara in my life.

And we are all lucky that this collection is coming in a few months. I’ve pre-ordered a copy (you can, too!), but I’m also reading a digital galley to prepare for a Q&A with Sara. I am only halfway through the collection, and let me tell you, it was not easy to pick just one “best” sentence to share. I’ve read several of Sara’s stories as they’ve appeared individually, but this one I’d missed. It was published originally in Slice (as “The Stranger”) and republished in The Raleigh Quarterly (as “Jew”).