Saturday, December 11, 2010

Opening Sentence of the Day: The Human Stain



It was the summer of 1998 that my neighbor Coleman Silk -- who, before retiring two years earlier, had been a classics professor at nearby Athena College for some twenty-odd years as well as serving for sixteen more as the dean of faculty -- confided to me that, at the age of seventy-one, he was having an affair with a thirty-four-year-old cleaning woman who worked down at the college.

-- The Human Stain by Philip Roth.

Wow! That's a whole novel in itself. What a terrific opening sentence! It reminds me of why I love Philip Roth.

This won the PEN/Faulkner Award, and would have counted as one of my books for the Book Awards Reading Challenge, if I hadn't messed up and failed to realize that the challenge ended on November 1, not the end of the year. Oh, well. Maybe the new challenge started on Nov. 1 and this will count for that one.

Book Beginnings on Friday is a weekly Opening Sentence event now hosted by Katy at A Few More Pages.  I'm a day late this week. 


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