He was born with a gift of laughter, and a sense that the world was mad.
—Rafael Sabatini, from Scaramouche


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
The first eight words have me imagining a blessing from a godmother, or a benevolent angel. Then hard on the heels of these first eight come the next eight: “and a sense that the world was mad.” It requires a bit of living, a bit of worldly experience, to achieve that kind of sophistication. Feel the marvelous rhythm, the two halves are inseparable. This sounds like a man who doesn’t hold a grudge, who might just shake his head at whatever vicissitudes life visits on him. I am completely in love, and expecting some serious adventure in the next 318 pages.
—Abigail Thomas is the author of, most recently, Safekeeping, A Three Dog Life, and What Comes Next and How to Like It