“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” This amazingly moving six-word short story is attributed to Ernest Hemmingway.

I discovered this six-word story in the Twitter profile of Wordsmith@6wordchallenge. Researching, I learned that Smith magazine attributes the story to Hemmingway, but Snopes.com “rumor has it” says that no one has located a source or publication that establishes Hemmingway’s authorship of the six-word story and that the six-word story itself wasn’t heard of until the 90s. According to a New York Daily News May 1996 review of Papa, a one-man play about Hemmingway, “John deGroot illustrates how pungent brevity can be when he has his subject tell a short story in six words.” In Playbill deGroot says, “Everything in the play is based on events described by Hemmingway or those who knew him well.” http://www.snopes.com/language/literary/babyshoes.asp

Whether or not Hemmingway wrote the six-word story, it’s fantastically evocative, and hats off to Smith magazine, http://www.smithmag.net/, for their six-word challenge. Try your hand at writing a six-word story.

 

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One Response to “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” This amazingly moving six-word short story is attributed to Ernest Hemmingway.

  1. Whether or not Hemmingway wrote the six-word story, it’s fantastically evocative.

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