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Now That's What You Call the "Reader's Digest" Version

3.12.08

In a recent New Yorker piece, Lizzie Widdicombe ’06 chronicles her attendance at a book party for Not Quite What I Was Planning, a compilation of six-word memoirs. That's right—these are people's attempts to condense their life stories into six words. Some examples: "Fix a toilet, get paid crap," from a plumber; "Yes, you can edit this biography," from Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.)

Widdicombe, a former Ledecky Undergraduate Fellow at Harvard Magazine, offers her own hilarious suggestions for those the book didn't include. For Hillary Clinton: "From Ill.; met Bill; iron will."

And Widdicombe has the courage to craft her own piece entirely from six-word sentences: "The book party: Housing Works, downtown. Cookies and beer on a table." She doesn't even cheat—she counts hyphenated words as two, not one. ("The magazine was flooded with entries. Five hundred-plus submissions per day.")

Read the piece here: Say It All in Six Words.