Virginia Tufte
Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style

In Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style, Virginia Tufte presents — and comments on — more than a thousand excellent sentences chosen from the works of authors in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The sentences come from an extensive search to identify some of the ways professional writers use the generous resources of the English language.

The book displays the sentences in fourteen chapters, each one organized around a syntactic concept-short sentences, noun phrases, verb phrases, appositives, parallelism, for example. It thus provides a systematic, comprehensive range of models for aspiring writers.

Artful Sentences grows out of one of Virginia Tufte's earlier books, Grammar as Style. Fresh examples from fiction and nonfiction bring new insights into the ways syntactic patterns work. Because the examples are such a pleasure, readers may be tempted to skip everything else, but the comments are inviting also, calling attention to techniques that are useful to writers of almost any type of fiction or nonfiction.

Both new and experienced writers will find inspiration: the book is not about "errors" but about successes. If you are already a good writer, Artful Sentences can help you to become excellent.

To write is to bring structure to ideas, information, feelings. Here are many creative strategies, in a unique book that is informed, affirming, lively, and of lasting value.

Virginia Tufte is distinguished emerita professor of English at the University of Southern California. Her special fields are Milton, Renaissance poetry, and the history and grammar of English.

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310 pages
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