‘This Did Something Powerful to Me’: Authors’ Favorite First Lines of Books – Joe Fassler – The Atlantic

‘This Did Something Powerful to Me’: Authors’ Favorite First Lines of Books – Joe Fassler – The Atlantic.

Jonathan Franzen, Margaret Atwood, David Gilbert, Roxane Gay, and other writers share their thoughts on what makes an inviting and memorable opening sentence.
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first lines authors.jpg

AP and Library of Congress.

When I interviewed Stephen King for the By Heart series, he told me about some of his favorite opening lines in literature. Then, the author had an off-the-cuff idea.

“You could go around and ask people about their favorite first lines,” he said. “I think you’ll find that most of them, right away, establish the sense of voice we talked about. Why not do it? I’d love to know, like, Jonathan Franzen’s favorite first line.”

So I reached out to Franzen and 21 other writers. In honor of King’s new novel Joyland and its nouveau-pulp publisher Hard Case Crime, there are a good number of crime writers featured in this list. Other writers I spoke to don’t write crime fiction at all, preferring to focus on other brands of human mystery. Collected below, the opening lines they picked range widely in tone and execution–but in each, you can almost feel the reader’s mind beginning to listen, hear the inward swing of some inviting door. (…)

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It's all learning and teaching to me!!! In addition I love writing, sports, social media and the Greek island Crete, my second home!!!

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Watson

Watson

It's all learning and teaching to me!!! In addition I love writing, sports, social media and the Greek island Crete, my second home!!!

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