And all my life, I have been running from my family, and I have been intricate in my run, but one way or another they are what you come upon around the corner, and the Lord God, who is so anxious for recognition, says you must ask how they are, and would they like something to drink, and what is it you can do for them this time.
–E.L. Doctorow, from Book of Daniel


Poets think in lines, prose writers in sentences; the best of both work from sound to sense, with an ear for the music in their compositions. S for Sentence celebrates lyricism in prose, the play and craft at work in the artful sentence. We post a sentence a month along with comments by a guest writer on the craft that shapes it, on what makes it great. In one or two sentences.
—Pearl Abraham, Editor
This series of periodic musical clauses covers a lot of ground quickly, moving from the American Transcendental individual of “all my life,” who doesn’t wait long to distinguish himself from the communal, the family he and also you--all of us--are running from, and goes on to blame the Lord God and His demanding Abrahamic desert code, a hospitality that requires foot washing and watering, or else; the unstated threat—the destruction of inhospitable Sodom—hangs at the end of the sentence the way the extra syllables in the final clause do, without making themselves too notable. Full disclosure: This sentence captures something of my own run from family and synagogue, hence continues to haunt me.
—Pearl Abraham, author of The Seventh Beggar and American Taliban