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The sentence is the primary unit of all prose. It expresses the rhythm of a writer’s breath and the pattern of their deepest sensibility. We’ll look at great sentences of all kinds and we’ll consider the elements of sentence making—structure, grammar, length, verbs, the use of fragments and punctuation. Please bring two of your favorite sentences to class.
Mona Simpson’s novels include My Hollywood, A Regular Guy, Off Keck Road, The Lost Father and Anywhere But Here. Her books have won the Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Prize, the Whiting Writer’s Award, and placed as finalist for the PEN/FAULKNER award. She has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University and a Lila Wallace Prize. Most recently, she was the recipient of a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and letters. Her short fiction has been published in Granta, Harpers, The Atlantic, McSweeney’s and The Paris Review. Born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, she lives in Santa Monica, California. Her most recent novel, Casebook, was released in April, 2014 by Knopf.