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Luring Leads - Chapter 38 In The Beginning

By Gail Hill,2014-08-12 14:02
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Luring Leads - Chapter 38 In The Beginning ...

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    Leads from High Tide In Tucson (Kingsolver 1995):

    ; Kingsolver sometimes startles readers with hyperbole:

    “How Mr. Dewey Decimal Saved My Life” begins with “A

    librarian named Miss Truman Richey snatched me from

    the jaws of ruin, and it’s too late now to thank her.”

    ; In “Life Without Go-Go Boots” her first sentence is

    simply, “Fashion wrecked my life.”

    ; “The Muscle Mystique” starts like this: “The baby-

    sitter surely thought I was having an affair.”

    ; Kingsolver can tell a startling anecdote that

    surprises, delights, and has you oh-my-goodnessing to

    know more. In “The Household Zen” she begins,

     In Barbara Pym’s novel Excellent Woman, published

    in 1952, there’s a moment when our heroine pays a call

    on her new downstairs neighbor, a dubious kind of

    woman who wears trousers and is always dashing off to

    meetings of the Anthropological Society. When this

    woman answers the door, she shrugs without remorse at

    her unkempt apartment and declares, “I’m such a slut.”

    ; Kingsolver might begin another essay with a paradox to

    pique readers’ interest, as she does in “The Not-So-

    Deadly Sin”: “Write a nonfiction book, and be prepared

    for the legion of readers who are going to doubt your

    facts. But write a novel, and get ready for the world

    to assume every word is true.”

And a bonus from Chapter One of Composing a Teaching Life

    by Ruth Vinz, in which the author shows us how a vivid lead can be echoed and thematically consolidated in the ending:

“Miss Lynch sticks in my mind as a tough-minded cross

    between Morticia of The Addams Family and Miss Grundy in

    the Archie comics. I don’t remember her in anything but black . . . .” And then the final line of this 500 word sketch: “I know [Miss Lynch] believed in the power of words on the page as surely as she believed in black.”

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