It's Germane

Six-Word Memoirs

Recently on National Public Radio I heard part of a story about a book called Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs By Famous and Obscure Writers by the editors of the on-line magazine, Smith. To introduce the topic, Smith’s editors quoted a possibly apocryphal story about Ernest Hemingway, who, when asked to write a story in six words came back with, “For Sale: baby shoes, never used.”

Several famous and semi-famous people have written their own six-word memoirs on the Smith website including author Joyce Carol Oates who wrote, “revenge is living well without you,” comic author Harvey Pekar, “fight, work, persevere — gain slight noteriety,” and Chef Mario Battali, “brought it to a boil often.” You can click on the links above to read more six-word memoirs or listen to the original NPR broadcast.

We (JJML) have ordered the book, so it will be availble here, but some of us were also inspired to write our own six-word memoirs. Here’s mine: “three great children: my great accomplishment.” Library Director (and author) Catherine Creedon wrote three:

1. Six words?  No: Too many stories.
2. Actually, all the mistakes paid off.
3. Once upon a time…. Happily everafter.

Now we’re throwing this great idea open to you. What’s your six-word memoir? Click on “Comment” and share your six-word biography with other JJML patrons.

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