Sunday, September 6, 2009

first lines: new favorite

I'm not one to have a long list of favorites. When I'm asked, "what's your favorite color?," I pause and think about what I seem to be gravitating to recently. When asked, "what's your favorite book?," I think about the last few I've read and pick the one I liked best.

So something like "favorite first line" is not in my general vocabulary. Or hasn't been. There are ones I like; it may be the first line of a poem, novel, short story, chapter - I've known some.

But today I finished up the short story I was reading in Tin House vol 10, no 4. It was a gift from a friend who knows me pretty well (thanks, BB!). Then I turned toward the back to Dorothy Allison's "Jason who will be famous."

And a new trend was born for me. I will start noting a list of favorite or 'wow' first lines.

This one is beautiful and I was to share it. The rest of the story, which I'm still reading, is good and worth a read. But the opening caught me.

Dorothy Allison's short story starts like this:

Jason is going to be famous, and the best part is that he knows he will be good at it.