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Friday, April 6 • 3:45pm - 5:00pm
4F: How to Write Long—But Not Long-Winded—Sentences
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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.

avatar for Tim Horvath

Tim Horvath

Tim Horvath is the author of Understories (Bellevue Literary Press) and Circulation (sunnyoutside). His stories have appeared in Conjunctions, Harvard Review, Fiction, and many other journals, and he is the recipient of a Yaddo Residency. He teaches in the BFA and MFA programs in... Read More →

Friday April 6, 2018 3:45pm - 5:00pm EDT
Cabot Room - 4th Floor