Excerpts Archive

Excerpt: Pretty is What Changes by Jessica Queller

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

The follow is an excerpt from Pretty is What Changes: Impossible Choices, the Breast Cancer Gene, and How I Defied My Destiny by Jessica Queller. Read Rebecca Paoletti’s interview with Queller.
“I’d fallen down the rabbit hole and decks of cards were talking. As if the logic and rules of my universe had suddenly changed. [...]

“It’s a Hard Knock Life”—an excerpt from Camp Camp

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

An excerpt from Camp Camp: Where Fantasy Island Meets Lord of the Flies, a big book of essays, photos, and braces edited by Roger Bennett and Jules Shell. Read more about the people behind Camp Camp here.
“We filed into the mess hall. I looked hopefully for the rebels. There they were, sitting like sisters at [...]

EXCERPT: The Two Kinds of Decay by Sarah Manguso

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Sarah Manguso’s fourth book, The Two Kinds of Decay, recounts a harrowing nine-year bout with a rare and complicated blood disease. Her twenties are framed around hospital stays, surgeries, and blood transfusions, with brief moments of respite—concern with having sex before graduating from college, eating the best hamburger ever made—tempered by the angst of her [...]

EXCERPT: Welcome to Shirley by Kelly McMasters

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

On the surface, Kelly McMasters had a perfect American childhood: A kind family, supportive neighbors, sparklers on the Fourth of July, sledding expeditions in the woods, popsicles made in ice cube trays. But as she grew older, she started to notice that things in Shirley, a working class Long Island town, were not what she’d [...]

EXCERPT: Rockabye by Rebecca Woolf

Monday, April 28th, 2008

“It seems impossible for me to be pregnant now. All of the years of drunken sex with strangers, forgotten birth-control pills, weekend trips blurred from substance abuse, my year of so-called nymphomania. My name is Rebecca and I’m a sex addict. But I wasn’t a sex addict. I was just lonely.”
Chapter 1. Holy Shit, I’m [...]

EXCERPT: Red Leather Diary by Lily Koppel

Monday, April 14th, 2008

Painted—played piano—read Baudelaire—and saw Manny. But I couldn’t resist thinking about that girl—! Invited that girl—Pearl is her name—to tea next Thursday afternoon—I hope I’m not disappointed—with her voice, I shouldn’t be.
According to plan, Florence and Pearl Siegelstein met, one late afternoon in March 1932, at an English tearoom on Lexington Avenue, advertised as “a [...]

EXCERPT: The Fortune Cookie Chronicles by Jennifer 8. Lee

Monday, March 17th, 2008

New York Times reporter Jennifer 8. Lee started tracking down a suspiciously high number of lottery winners, and ended up following a trail that led through hundreds of Chinese restaurants on six different continents. The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, the book that resulted from this epic journey, ended up being about a lot more than fortune [...]

EXCERPT: Mortified: Love is a Battlefield

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

One of the highlights of our book tour was spending Valentine’s Day with hundreds of other awkward single people (and one couple that wouldn’t stop licking each other’s faces) at a live Mortified event in Los Angeles. It was everything we hope to someday achieve with a SMITH Slam—great writing, brilliant comedy, perfect projections and [...]

Perfect From Now On By John Sellers

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

Perfect From Now On, John Sellers’ breezy, smart indie-rock-is-my-life anthem-cum-memoir, is just out in paperback. Back when it first published as a hardcover, SMITH was pleased to run an excerpt from this debut memoir, as well as an audio interview with the author. Like music? Memoirs? Guided By Voices? Some or all of [...]

EXCERPT: Bedtime Stories: Adventures in the Land of Single-Fatherhood by Trey Ellis

Monday, February 25th, 2008

“I haven’t strangled my son, raised my voice, or even just slapped him around a little. I imagine I would be a shoo-in for Father of the Year.”
Trey Ellis has spent the past 15 years exploring nearly every form of prose imaginable to a writer. In 1989, just out of Stanford University, he wrote The [...]

SMITH Magazine

SMITH Magazine is a home for storytelling.
We believe everyone has a story, and everyone
should have a place to tell it.
We're the creators and home of the
Six-Word Memoir® project.