Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
David Hirshberg | JACOBO’S RAINBOW
Author Guest / May 12, 2021

You’re a big believer in the importance of opening paragraphs. Please elaborate. I’ve got two favorites. The first is from A Tale of Two Cities, whose first sentence is, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” I also really like: “Fear presides over these memories, a perpetual fear.” That’s from Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America. When I open a novel for the first time, I want to be intrigued or amazed or unsettled—right from the start. In addition, within a few sentences, I’m eager to get into the rhythm of literary language, which encourages me to continue to turn pages. The opening line of my debut novel in 2018—My Mother’s Son—has been commented on by almost all of the reviewers: “When you’re a kid, they don’t always tell you the truth.” It’s followed by, “They tell others that they don’t want to hurt you or they think you won’t understand. But in reality, it’s just easier if they tell you what makes them feel good, or what gets them out of a jam.” Readers tell me that this braces them for the unexpected, and this is precisely how I wanted them to react. Here’s…