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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Hayden

Friday Frustration: Style Envy

Updated: Feb 16, 2022

It's been quite a while since I wrote an #FF post, but an idea for today's Friday Frustration came to mind the other day. Recently I started reading the novel Luster, not quite 100 pages in and I love the way Raven Leilani writes. The story itself is compelling enough but what strikes me more is each turn of phrase, a few of which so beautifully worded that I make a face when I read (in a good way). I was digesting some of her sentences with a mixture of awe, inspiration, and, well...some envy. So today's #FF is not a frustration with an external force or person, but really with myself. For not being as good as they are, and finding it hard to trust that I could one day reach their level.

I've read plenty of writers who could tell a good story, but there are far fewer whom I personally shortlisted for their adroitness with language. I think about this when I read people like Janet Fitch, Melissa Febos, Elizabeth Gilbert, and now Raven Leilani. There are others (like Charles D'Ambrosio; like James Baldwin), but those are off the top of my head as people whose prose I envy.

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