STARTERS : Great opening lines from 2013 BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS

color starters

I picked up a copy of the 2013 BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS, edited by Cheryl Strayed. Here are a few of the best opening lines:

On Thanksgiving my father asked me if I wanted to visit the Nazi. –“Keeper of the Flame,” by Matthew Vollmer

The first time I heard her I didn’t hear her at all. –“Some Notes on the Attunement,” by Zadie Smith

I was eleven the first time I saw someone killed. –“When They Let Them Bleed,” by Tod Goldberg

For the first few months after my son was born, I called him The Baby, or sometimes just Him with a capital H, huge proper nouns to illustrate how completely he took over my life. –“Channel B,” by Megan Stielstra

I have this story from the artist Tracy Hicks about his former father-in-law, who had a 1960s pickup he’d restored and customized–spent years on the project, loved this truck like nothing else–until one day he backed over one of his kittens in the driveway. –“El Camino Doloroso,” by David Searcy

Whenever you’re stuck in your own writing, pick up a journal or anthology and read some of your favorite writers or discover new ones. And if you get a minute, let me know what some of your favorite openings are too…

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