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The Muse and the Marketplace 2018
April 6 @ 3:45 pm - 5:00 pm
I’ll be doing a session entitled”How to Write Long–But Not Long-winded–Sentences.”
Here’s an overview:
In our attention-span-challenged times, it takes a certain nerve to write long sentences, yet the 2017 Man-Booker Longlist includes Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West, which revels in them, and Mike McCormack’s Solar Bones, which consists of a single book-length sentence. How do we explain this? Sentence length can seem almost accidental, a byproduct of style or point of view. In this session, though, we’ll bring them to center stage and seek to cultivate sentences that are long but not annoying. Such sentences sustain the reader’s interest as though we are watching a tightrope-walking friend—every step’s essential, the stakes couldn’t be higher, and we are riveted (we might even gasp at the daring). By examining acrobatic writers ranging from Hamid to Elizabeth Tallent, Garth Greenwell to Arundhati Roy, we’ll see how they use them to bask in the nuances of consciousness, to control time, rhythm, and perspective, and to convey the complexity of our times. And naturally, you’ll walk away from this session with a new long sentence or two of your own.