If you didn't read the Sunday Review section in the New York Times yesterday, follow this link to Jhumpa Lahiri's eloquent essay on sentences, "My Life's Sentences".
Here's an excerpt: For surely it is a magical thing for a handful of words, artfully arranged, to stop time. To conjure a place, a person, a situation, in all its specificity and dimensions. To affect us and alter us, as profoundly as real people and things do.
And then she writes: The first sentence of a book is a handshake, perhaps an embrace. Style and personality are irrelevant. they can be formal or casual. They can be tall or short or fat or thin. They can obey the rules or break them. But they need to contain a charge. A live current, which shocks and illuminates.
Her own sentences are so clear and alive. Her essays are as much a joy to read as her fiction.