I always look forward to Stanley Fish's columns on the New York Times' website because they are thoughtfully constructed, interesting and usually a voice of reason. So I was thrilled when I found out that Fish had written a book called How To Write a Sentence--a short little tome that is best described as a love letter to language.
The book is on sale today, and I think many booklovers will find something to underline or read out loud from the text. For a preview, read this Q&A I did with Fish. It's a fair representation of the book as a whole:
You write that you appreciate fine sentences as others appreciate fine wines. Do you have a favorite?My favorite sentence is the one by Swift that I analyze in the book. I admire it for its efficiency, its apparent simplicity and its extraordinarily quiet brutality. “Last week I saw a woman flayed, and you will hardly believe how much it altered her person for the worse.” (Did he really say that?) [Continue reading this interview.]
Do you have a favorite sentence? Will you read Fish's book? (His 12th!)