‘At The Animal Shelter’ by Amy Hempel

At The Animal Shelter by Amy Hempel, 1990

The magic trick:

Grabbing the reader’s attention with an interesting first line

Writing this week about all these Amy Hempel stories, well, we’re bound to spend time talking about her opening sentences. Almost without fail, she hits you with an attention-grabber early on. Sometimes it’s funny. Sometimes it’s just plain odd.

In “Animal Shelter,” it’s neither. It’s interesting.

And that’s quite a trick on Hempel’s part.

The selection:

Every time you see a beautiful woman, someone is tired of her, so the men say.

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