EVAN S. CONNELL, A. N. WILSON, WILLA CATHER: NOVEL BEGINNINGS
Thinking about how novels begin, I recently pulled many books off my shelves and was surprised by how unspectacular the beginnings of most seemed to me. There were exceptions, however. Consider:
Her first name was India–she was never able to get used to it. It seemed to her that her parents must have been thinking of someone else when they named her. Or were they hoping for another sort of daughter? As a child she was often on the point of inquiring, but time passed, and she never did.
Thus begins Evan S. Connell’s Mrs. Bridge published in 1959. (One wonders if today’s editors would let the passive voice of the second sentence stand.)