As a journalist Ernest Hemingway was trained to cut to the story's essentials,
leaving out those words that stand between the writer and his intent. And so we have a Hemingway principle of good
writing—the well-hewn sentence.
It is said that Ernest Hemingway was challenged to write the shortest of short stories: the ultimate example of brevity in
storytelling. Though perhaps apocryphal—no one can tell us who challenged him or on what occasion—this was the result:
“For Sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn.” Writers have attempted to equal this six-word short story with six of their own,
but no one has clearly beaten the master. Those six words are just too good.
Foolscap Press commissioned six writers each to write a six-page story where only the title was supplied. The writers were
free to do whatever they chose within those parameters. We invited three women and three men in order to balance personal
experiences and writing styles.
The response is these six extraordinary stories stocked with a captivating cast
of characters. And, yes, there is a distinction between the men and women writers. And what happens when it comes to
dealing with an unmitigated loss (as the title might suggest)? You can read for yourself these six creations spun from
six very different imaginative worlds, all in response to those six tantalizing words.
Alix Christie is a journalist and writer whose work has appeared in the Washington Post Magazine,
San Francisco Chronicle, Other Voices, Salon.com, and
The Economist, among other publications. She is finishing a novel about Peter Schöffer,
Johannes Gutenberg's apprentice in the workshop that produced the first book from movable type.
Michael Palin, actor, travel writer, screenwriter, documentarian, and comedian, is the author of many books,
including travel books, an autobiography, diaries, fiction, children's books, and a play. He was formerly an integral
part of a small circus.
Susan Straight is the author of Aquaboogie, I Been in Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots,
Blacker than a Thousand Midnights, The Gettin' Place, Highwire Moon and A Million Nightingales. Her new novel is
Take One Candle Light a Room. Her stories have been anthologized in many collections. She teaches creative writing
at the University of California, Riverside.
Michael Katakis is a photographer as well as the author of The Vietnam Veterans Memorial,
Sacred Trusts: Essays on Stewardship and Responsibility, Despatches, Traveller, and A Time and Place Before War.
His photographs have been exhibited and published widely.
Nataly Adrian lives and writes in Paris. She is the author of The Destiny Book, and
The Secret in the Shell.
Lawrence G. Van Velzer is the author of Desert Dreams, Tower of the Winds, and Herakles and
the Eurystheusian Twelve-Step Program and many short pieces.
For Sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn
is published in a limited edition of 200 numbered copies of which 140 copies
are for sale. The book is printed letterpress on Frankfurt Cream text paper using hand-set
Garamond type. The book measures 15" by 13" and consists of 60
unpaginated pages. Each story is signed by the author and has its own title page
decorated with collaged prints of pairs of shoes by Peggy Gotthold on Kitakata paper.
The book is bound in Japanese cloth and is sewn onto a modified
accordion structure designed so that each story is presented individually.
The price is $550.
Orders may be placed by telephone, email or letter. Please include $35 for
shipping and appropriate tax for California residents.
Book dealer, institutional and Standing Order discounts are applied.
For Sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn for $550