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ChatChat - Claudia Cragg

Feb 25, 2009

Claudia Cragg speaks here with 'Six-Word Memoirs' editors Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser who have once again brought readers a memorable collection that’s a diverse grab bag of writers—famous, obscure, gay, straight, single, married, divorced, and polyandrous, hailing from Mississippi to New York to California, Australia to Vietnam. This time, though, the subject is 'Love and Heartbreak'. One entry from sex-columnist Dan Savage sits alongside one by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Robert Hass. Supermodel Janice Dickinson dishes out six words in the brazen spirits she’s known for, while Chip Rowe—aka The Playboy Advisor—makes a surprising revelation to his millions of readers. The world's most famous divorce lawyer, Raoul Felder, tells us, in six words, "Love almost always leads to heartbreak."

Since hitting the mainstream, the six-word form has been re-imagined countless times. From kindergarten through graduate school, teachers have brought the six-word storytelling exercise into their classrooms. A young girl in California ended her eulogy for her poker-loving grandma with a six-word summation of her life: “Look, I have a royal flush!” 

Six-word memoirs continue to pour into SMITH Magazine’s website every day and themes have emerged, from faith to hair to sex to food. By far the most common thread, however, is love. Passionate love, parental love, platonic love—it seems to be the most universally life-changing factor for storytellers of every age, background and worldview.