Faithlife Sermons

Six-Word Memoirs

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Famous writers sum up their lives in just six words

By Carol Memmott, USA TODAY

Could you sum up your life in six words? Writers took the pithy challenge in Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure from Smith Magazine, edited by Rachel Fershleiser and Larry Smith (Harper Perennial, $12, paperback original). This online publication's request for quick memoirs ( garnered 15,000 submissions; 800 made the book. Here's what some of the more famous contributors wrote:

"Well, I thought it was funny." Stephen Colbert

"Me see world! Me write stories!" Elizabeth Gilbert

"Secret of life: Marry an Italian." Nora Ephron

"Fearlessness is the mother of reinvention." Arianna Huffington

"Relatively famous parents, very low self-esteem." Molly Jong-Fast

"Revenge is living well without you." Joyce Carol Oates

"Born bald. Grew hair. Bald again." A.J. Jacobs

"Fifteen years since last professional haircut." Dave Eggers

"Mushrooms. Clowns. Wands. Five. Wig. Thatched." Amy Sedaris

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