How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One

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Harper Collins, Jan 25, 2011 - Literary Criticism - 176 pages
2 Reviews

“Like a long periodic sentence, this book rumbles along, gathers steam, shifts gears, and packs a wallop.”
 —Roy Blount Jr.
“Language lovers will flock to this homage to great writing.”

Outspoken New York Times columnist Stanley Fish offers an entertaining, erudite analysis of language and rhetoric in this delightful celebration of the written word. Drawing on a wide range of  great writers, from Philip Roth to Antonin Scalia to Jane Austen and beyond, Fish’s How to Write a Sentence is much more than a writing manual—it is a penetrating exploration into the art and craft of sentences.


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Don't be fooled by the first chapter's exciting intro; it's all downhill from there. An extremely tedious and dull book that could've been condensed and simplified in order to get the good lessons across without putting readers to sleep.


one Why Sentences?
two Why You Wont Find the Answer
three Its Not the Thought That Counts
four What Is a Good Sentence?
five The Subordinating Style
six The Additive Style
The Return of Content
eight First Sentences
nine Last Sentences
ten Sentences That Are About Themselves

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About the author (2011)

STANLEY FISH is a professor of law at Florida International University in Miami, and dean emeritus of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois in Chicago. He has also taught at the University of California at Berkeley, Johns Hopkins University, and Duke University. He is the author of fourteen books, most recently Fugitive in Flight and Save the World on Your Own Time. He lives in Andes, New York, and New York City.

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