Today’s assignment is easy in one way, hard in another. I can find lots of great opening lines but limiting it to five is tough. So, in no particular order, we have:
Then there was one brief time when we didn’t live in the big brick house with my grandmother, but in a neat two-storey green-shingled white house in the holler below.–Fred Chappell, I AM ONE OF YOU FOREVER.
Mason City. To get here you follow HWY 58, going northeast out of the city, and it is a good highway and new.–Robert Penn Warren, ALL THE KING’S MEN.
Now in these dread latter days of the old violent beloved U.S.A. and of the Christ-forgetting Christ-haunted death-dealing Western world I came to myself in a grove of young pines and the question came to me: has it happened at last?–Walker Percy, LOVE IN THE RUINS.
My dear Hanneke, Your name is not much common here, I think it is so pretty too.–Lee Smith, FAIR AND TENDER LADIES.
My wound is geography.–Pat Conroy, THE PRINCE OF TIDES.
You will notice I didn’t include any of the classics, not because I don’t love them but simply because I could never make a decision. You may also notice I’ve selected Southern writers. I’m proud to be a tiny part of that long line of story-tellers, those front-porch yarn spinners extraordinaire.