It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure

Overview

Thousands of people around the world responded to SMITH Magazine's call for six-word memoirs. Following up on the smashing success of the New York Times bestseller Not Quite What I Was Planning, here are more memoirs from Sarah Silverman, Junot Diaz, Neil Patrick Harris, Suze Orman, Gay Talese, Tony Hawk, Amy Tan—and hundreds of never-before-published writers.

Funny and bittersweet, witty and wild, or downright tragic, these addictive life stories are both monumental and ...

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It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure

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Overview

Thousands of people around the world responded to SMITH Magazine's call for six-word memoirs. Following up on the smashing success of the New York Times bestseller Not Quite What I Was Planning, here are more memoirs from Sarah Silverman, Junot Diaz, Neil Patrick Harris, Suze Orman, Gay Talese, Tony Hawk, Amy Tan—and hundreds of never-before-published writers.

Funny and bittersweet, witty and wild, or downright tragic, these addictive life stories are both monumental and miniscule. Six-word memoirs have become a globalphenomenon, offering anyone and everyone a telling peek at humanity and a chance to find the writer within.

"Father: ‘Anything but journalism.' I rebelled." —Malcolm Gladwell

"Live man's life in woman's body!" —Diane von Furstenberg

"Met wife at her bachelorette party." —Eddie Matz

"The miserable childhood leads to royalties." —Frank McCourt

"I never checked my lottery ticket." —Casey Burra

"Shiny head. Hippie hair. Shiny head." —Wally Lamb

"Bipolar, no two ways about it." —Jason Owen

"So would you believe me anyway?" —James Frey

"Can't look at heart donor's picture." —Tonia Hall

"Healed with steel, then got real." —Dr. Mehmet Oz

"I still practice my Oscar speech." —Jennifer Labbienti

"I've done it all except hear." —Marlee Matlin

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Editorial Reviews

Rocky Mountain News
“Six-word memoirs leave book lover speechless.”
Toronto Star
“A torrent of self-expression not unlike the one launched by Frank Warren when he began inviting people to write their secrets on the back of postcards.”
Telegraph
“A fabulously appealing exercise both for writers and for readers.”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“American haiku.”
Philadelphia Magazine
“A good number conjure up both a story line and a worldview. Six-word review: Buy it, keep it in bathroom.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“I fell so in love with it.”
VSL.com
“Six words. Personal stories. Infinite possibilities. These ADD autobiographies prove that brevity can be the soul not simply of wit.”
Denver Post
“A perfect distraction and inspiration.”
ReadyMade Magazine
“The petite self-portraits encompass love and love, joy and sorrow-everything you’d expect from a longer book.”
The New Yorker
“You could spend a lifetime brainstorming.”
Chicago Tribune
“Irresistibly clever.”
New York Post
“The brilliance is in the brevity.”
Vanity Fair
“Will thrill minimalists and inspire maximalists.”
The Oprah Magazine O
“The pithiest of life stories.”
Ira Glass
“Dude’s weird premise yields interesting stories.”
Telegraph
“A fabulously appealing exercise both for writers and for readers.”
Chicago Tribune
“Irresistibly clever.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“I fell so in love with it.”
Toronto Star
“A torrent of self-expression not unlike the one launched by Frank Warren when he began inviting people to write their secrets on the back of postcards.”
The New Yorker
“You could spend a lifetime brainstorming.”
Rocky Mountain News
“Six-word memoirs leave book lover speechless.”
Denver Post
“A perfect distraction and inspiration.”
Vanity Fair
“Will thrill minimalists and inspire maximalists.”
New York Post
“The brilliance is in the brevity.”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“American haiku.”
Philadelphia Magazine
“A good number conjure up both a story line and a worldview. Six-word review: Buy it, keep it in bathroom.”
VSL.com
“Six words. Personal stories. Infinite possibilities. These ADD autobiographies prove that brevity can be the soul not simply of wit.”
ReadyMade Magazine
“The petite self-portraits encompass love and love, joy and sorrow-everything you’d expect from a longer book.”
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061719431
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/5/2010
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 465,546
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Larry Smith

SMITH Magazine founding editor Larry Smith has worked as an editor at Men's Journal, ESPN: The Magazine, and Might. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Popular Science, on Salon.com, and many other places. Larry lives in New York City

Rachel Fershleiser is SMITH's memoir editor and has written for the Village Voice, the New York Press, Print, and the National Post. Rachel lives in New York City.

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 24, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    I think this is another hit

    Like the other six-word memoir books this book will keep you highly entertained for a few hours, if you go at it all at once, or for weeks if you have the self-control to spread out the fun. The list of celebrity contributors is much longer in this book than the first and includes Isabelle Allende, Tony Kushner, Alison Bechdel, Junot Diaz and other well-known authors. Bob Barker (My life story --- spay or neuter.), Neil Patrick Harris (Barney...Doogie...! Average names elude me.), and other mainstream stars' submissions also appear.*

    "It all changed in an instant" boasts of more artwork than previous books in the series, and the back matter also includes longer stories that expound on or explain some of some of the six-word memoirs throughout the book. Once again, though, the real soul of this book is the stories from people you will never know.

    Made weird children -- will die proud. (27)
    Michael Stipe mumbled my formative years. (57)
    Little me would've liked be me. (84)
    And because there is always one that hits too close to home:
    My cat is an ungrateful brat. (108)


    Book source: review copy from publisher

    *All page numbers and quotes taken from an advanced uncorrected proof and may not match the published copy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Six times the fun for everyone

    This is a fun, often irreverent, with many poignant entries in this entertaining succinct memoir collection. The selected contributors use six words to describe their "thoughts". With commentary like Edward Doerr's "Age twenty-tree, scored pallbearer's hat trick" or "Wife away, pizza today, diet tomorrow" by David Logan, the audience will empathize or laugh with some as for many of us they hit home. Others are sad like Noema Abbott's profound "Tiny son dying in my arms". Best read leisurely over several weeks, It All Changed in an Instant is entertaining yet deep as summed up by Lisa Anne Auburch's "Everything I touch turns to mold" and Brooke Marie Gorman's "Story of my life? bad timing" as compared with the ultimate optimist Phil Skversky when he says: "Alzheimer's meeting new people every day". Readers will appreciate the short and snappy deep collection that includes classic concise Yogi-isms while making up their own - even the shopping list, I critique.

    Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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