Weekend goal: get my paws on a copy of “At the Bottom of the River” and read it.
It’s incredible the work that sentences can do beyond simply moving a story forward. With one comma they’ll turn on you. In a dash they can elevate or destroy you.
If you’re reading Kincaid, they’ll pull, pull, pull you ’til you’re taut and then they’ll slingshot you.
“I milked the cows, I churned the butter, I stored the cheese, I baked the bread, I brewed the tea, I washed the clothes, I dressed the children; the cat meowed, the dog barked, the horse neighed, the mouse squeaked, the fly buzzed, the goldfish living in a bowl stretched its jaws; the door banged shut, the stairs creaked, the fridge hummed, the curtains billowed up, the pot boiled, the gas hissed through the stove, the tree branches heavy with snow crashed against the roof; my heart beat loudly thud! thud!, tiny beads of water grew folds, I shed my skin…”
— “The Letter from Home,” Jamaica Kincaid
via: Jane Wong’s beautiful analysis Art of the Sentence: Jamaica Kincaid in Tin House