The Six-Word Memoir Blog

Patience and Fortitude — Six-Word Teens Slam the NYPL

Monday, November 16th, 2009

By Rachel

Last week we made our biggest appearance for I Can’t Keep My Own Secrets: Six-Word Memoirs by Teens Famous and Obscure at the –ZOMG!– New York Public Library! And, yes, it’s the one with the famous lions (named Patience and Fortitude) guarding the front steps. We’ve been in awe of the beautiful main branch library on 42nd St and 5th Ave for longer than most SMITHteeners have been alive, so we were extremely honored to appear there.

But the teen contributors far outshone Patience and Fortitude with their Honesty and Courage as they joined us on stage to tell stories behind their sixes. We heard of friendships broken, siblings resented, and operations survived. The poise and eloquence on display was astonishing, as young men and women as young as 13 and as old as 19 talked about their secrets with an auditorium of rapt teens, parents, book industry pros, YA novelists, and one very precocious six-year-old.

When we opened the slam up to the room, we heard former teenagers look back on adolescence with memoirs like “Spent every spare moment making out” and “Oh jeez, Mom, shut the door!” A certain 60-something admitted he often forgot he wasn’t still a teen and shared his reassuring six, “Doctor says it happens to everyone.” So whether you arrived at this post via SMITHteens or AARP, feel free to comment with a six-word middle-school memoir of your very own…

One response

  1. Kim says:

    I got all choked up reading this post. It sounds like it was a great event, and those sound like fabulous teens!

    “The teenage me? Over-excited, over-friendly, over-whelmed.”

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