Careful reading is the best way to learn to write, and careful reading can inspire great ideas about your own work. Together we will read, analyze, and discuss the opening pages of a number of interesting novels. What can or should a strong opening accomplish? What technical choices do these writers make? What structural and narrative strategies do these writers use and what does that do to our experience as readers?
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Dana Spiotta (born 1966) is an American author. Her novel Stone Arabia (2011) was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. Her novel Eat the Document (2006) was a National Book Award finalist and won the Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her novel Lightning Field (2001) was a New York Times Notable Book of the year. She was a recipient of the Rome Prize in Literature, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship. Spiotta lives in Central New York and teaches in the Syracuse University MFA program.