Opening Line

January 14 marked the fifty-ninth anniversary of the original publication of Sylvia Plath’s haunting novel, The Bell Jar, which was first published under the pseudonym “Victoria Lucas.” The novel, which wouldn’t receive its wide acclaim until 1971, two years after the death of Plath, opens with one of the most iconic first lines in contemporary literature: “It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.” This week, write a story influenced by this powerful opening line. Set the tone of the story by situating the time and place into historical context, as Plath does. How can an event seemingly unrelated to the rest of your story carry the weight of the reader’s expectations?