Monday, July 9, 2012

Words that work

When a piece of writing strikes you as brilliant two days after you finished the book, you know it's doing something right.

This is from Amy Timberlake's One Came Home.

"I froze. My body did, anyway.

"My mind, on the other hand, jumped over the moon and ran away with the spoon. It listed what it saw by every possible name. It thought the list forward: Catamount, cougar, American lion, painter, red tiger. It thought it backward: Red tiger, painter, American lion, cougar, catamount. My mind pinched the list in the middle, folded it over, an thought it again: Painter, cougar, catamount, red tiger, American lion.

"It distressed me to discover that running vocabulary lists was my mind's behavior during direst need."
(Besides the writing, this book also has some genius cover design on its side. The 1871 migration of passenger pigeons is one of the driving events of the book. Look at the title: Those letters, or at least the edges of them, are a great mass of wild pigeons. Nicely done, David Homer.)

No comments: