Literary Nonfiction. Writing. Composition. You've got a great story, but do you have great sentences? Stylish sentences have their own powerful energy that mesmerizes and even rearranges a reader's world. Think of this book as a private lesson with Nina Schuyler—award-winning author and professor of creative writing at the University of San Francisco—featuring guest appearances by the masters, including James Baldwin, Grace Paley, John Updike, Saul Bellow, and Toni Morrison. They've arrived to show you the mechanics of their magic. With 25 essays and over 100 writing prompts, HOW TO WRITE STUNNING SENTENCES is the best way to expand your writing style."Nina Schuyler's HOW TO WRITE STUNNING SENTENCES is like a Kama Sutra for sentences: it describes the positions and passions of her artful love, and through sharp analyses and generous prompts suggests how you too, writer, may become such an artful lover...Read it and the pleasure will be yours."—Aaron Shurin"With its elegantly curated examples of stunning prose, HOW TO WRITE STUNNING SENTENCES offers luminous insight into the elements of language as they relate intimately to content. Reading this book can transform your awareness and your practice, line by line and page by page, with glorious results."—Elizabeth Rosner"Passionately intense and exquisitely precise, Nina Schuyler's brilliant readings of gorgeously disparate sentences by a wide spectrum of innovative writers illuminate the subversive pleasures of suspension and subordination, the joys of complexity and extravagance, and the potent, piercing delights of language distilled to spare perfection."—Melanie Rae Thon"In this wonderful book, Nina Schuyler not only explores how syntax and diction can embody the meaning of a sentence but also how they can enrich subtext and capture the sensibility of a character. The pleasure of looking so closely at the power and intricacy of sentences is present on every page and richly evident in the plentiful writing exercises that Schuyler provides. Each chapter has the potency of a daily meditation from which any writer would benefit."—Catherine Brady"Nina Schuyler is an alchemist of style, with a brilliant eye for the secret inner workings of language. This book is a treasure trove for anyone wishing to harness the power of rhythm and syntax, meaning and music, in their own sentences or in the ones they read. This book is a fantastic contribution to the literature of craft."—Carolina de Robertis"There are books to read and then there are books to own, and Nina Schuyler's wonderful volume is of the latter category. As a writer, it offers nifty inspiration at a moment's notice. As a teacher, it offers clear proof that the blood, sweat, and tears behind beautiful writing is worth it. Even if I didn't write or teach, HOW TO WRITE STUNNING SENTENCES would still be a graceful reminder that our ability to communicate deep emotions through the art of writing is one of the best things about being human."—Tom Molanphy, Academy of Art University
Nina Schuyler's novel, Afterword, will be published by Clash Books in 2023, and her short story collection, In this Ravishing World, which won the W.S. Porter Prize for Short Story Collections and the Prism Prize for Climate Literature, will be published by Regal House Publishing in 2024. Her novel, The Translator, won the Next Generation Indie Book Award for General Fiction and was a finalist for the William Saroyan International Writing Prize.