Monday, May 21, 2012

"Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obsure" by Larry Smith

225 pages

Legend has it that Earnest Hemingway, when asked to write a six-word story, came up with "For sale: baby shoes, never worn." His words proved that a powerful tale can be told in just a few words. Inspired by this idea, Smith challenged hundreds of people to write their memoir in six words. His collection contains the work of famous authors, including Joyce Carol Oats and Elizabeth Gilbert, as well as ordinary people. The six-word memoirs vary from hilarious to touching to heart-breaking. Some of the really special ones blew me away. Others, I thought, are just ho-hum. Overall, though, I enjoyed reading the collection, and it definitely got me thinking about what would me in my six-word memoir. Having so few words to work with really forces you to be creative and break your life down to its most essential parts. This is a good one for anyone who is at the point (one of the points, actually) where he or she is wondering what life is all about. 

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