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Play It As It Lays

Early Bird Books: 10 of Our Favorite First Lines in Literature

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From Melville to Didion, these first sentences created lasting and notable impressions. Some of literature’s most iconic lines come to us within the first paragraphs of our favorite novels. They are the hooks onto which we latch, and the springboards that launch us further into the narrative. There’s a reason these words make up some of the most quotable lines in literature—readers simply can’t get them out of their heads. Take a look below to see some of our favorite opening lines. While first impressions can be tough, they won us over in just a single sentence. “You better not never tell nobody but God.”  The Color Purple By Alice Walker Set in the 1930s, The Color Purple details the…

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‘The Center Will Not Hold’: 24 Joan Didion Quotes That Strike a Nerve

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On the heels of its New York Film Festival premiere, Griffin Dunne’s Joan Didion documentary, The Center Will Not Hold, comes to Netflix on October 27. The film is a retrospect of the literary giant’s career, from her earliest successes to more present-day milestones—like the publication of her National Book Award winner, The Year of Magical Thinking. I saw the documentary during a screening at the film festival earlier this month. At the risk of sounding cliche, I laughed (Didion’s solution to writer’s block is putting manuscripts in the freezer), and I cried (a lot of time is dedicated to her late husband and daughter). For the first time, we get an intimate glimpse at a woman who, for the…

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An Excerpt of Joan Didion’s ‘Play It As It Lays’: Heart of the American Dream

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BookTrib is partnering with Early Bird Books to bring you more great content, including this article and excerpt from Joan Didion’s Play It As It Lays. Read on for more! An excerpt from the literary icon’s novel about loneliness and life’s unanswerable questions. The name Joan Didion is synonymous with a lot of things: the West Coast, a barely-there smile, a distanced but prescient prose. In fact, it’s impossible to read a line from, say, Slouching Towards Bethlehem without knowing exactly who you’re reading—and yet Didion herself has always remained something of an enigma. Though mostly known for her nonfiction, she’s the author of several screenplays and novels. Her fiction debut came in 1963 with Run, River, a book that was edited by her then-future husband,…

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