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A Sentence About a Sentence I Love, by Dawn Raffel

“The woman, who is mewhy pretend otherwise?wants to love a man she cannot have.”

The opening salvo of Diane Williams’s story “All American”

 

This sentence has it all: complexity, risk, play, cadential perfection; it puts you on notice that nothing in Williams’s story will be business as usual.

 

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About Dawn Raffel

Dawn Raffel's most recent book, The Strange Case of Dr. Couney, was chosen as one of NPR’s best books of 2018. Previous books include a memoir, The Secret Life of Objects; a novel, Carrying the Body; and two story collections, Further Adventures in the Restless Universe and In the Year of Long Division. Her writing has been published in O, The Oprah Magazine, BOMB, New Philosopher, The San Francisco Chronicle, Conjunctions, Black Book, Open City, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories, Arts & Letters, The Quarterly, NOON, and numerous other periodicals and anthologies. She was a fiction editor for many years, helped launch O, The Oprah Magazine, where she served as Executive Articles Editor for seven years, and subsequently held senior-level 'at-large' positions at More magazine and Reader's Digest. In addition, she served as the Center for Fiction's web editor. She has taught in the MFA program at Columbia University, the Center for Fiction, and at Summer Literary Seminars in St. Petersburg, Russia; Montreal; and Vilnius, Lithuania. She currently works as an independent editor for individuals and creative organizations, specializing in memoir, short stories, and narrative nonfiction. She is also a certified yoga instructor and teaches embodied creative writing.
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3 thoughts on “A Sentence About a Sentence I Love, by Dawn Raffel

  1. Ah yes. I love this sentence. This whole story, in fact. I think any single sentence from it could be grabbed and singled out as a “sentence I love.”

  2. In my thesaurus, Diane Williams is synonymous with “acuity,” and I say this not only because the word “acuity” is derived from acus the Latin word for “needle,” but also because just by looking at the word itself you get a cut, all of which mirrors the very incisiveness of Williams’s prose as well as the almost x-ray strength of her vision.

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