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The Moment: Wild, Poignant, Life-Changing Stories from 125 Writers and Artists Famous & Obscure [Kindle Edition]

Larry Smith
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $9.78
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Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

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Book Description

From the creators of Six-Word Memoirs comes The Moment, a collection of personal stories from writers both famous and obscure revealing how a single instant changed their lives forever. An innocuous decision, an unforeseen accident, a chance conversation, a tag sale, a terrorist strike, a tweet . . . sometimes all it takes is a single moment to redirect the course of an entire life. In the tradition of Smith magazine’s Not Quite What I Was Planning and the sensational Six-Word Memoirs on Love & Heartbreak—and in the spirit of StoryCorps, the Moth, and This American LifeThe Moment unveils everyday people’s inner lives in narratives of all shapes and sizes, with stories from six to 1,000 words, photographs, comics, illustrations, handwritten letters, and more. It’s enough to change your life forever.

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The turning points, revelations, epiphanies, dramatic changes, the opening or closing of a door—in a life, a career, a love—can occur in a single glorious, terrible, unpredictable, serendipitous, crucial, calamitous, chaotic, amazing . . . Moment.

The creators of the enormously popular Not Quite What I Was Planning and Six-Word Memoir series now offer stories of the Moment—the one-time chances, unexpected coincidences, and sudden catastrophes that made all the difference in the story of one life.

The results are triumphant, outrageous, heartwarming, heartbreaking, embarrassing, illuminating, and inspiring—life-changing moments from contributors Dave Eggers, Diane Ackerman, Elizabeth Gilbert, Bill Ayers, Jennifer Egan, A. J. Jacobs, Judy Collins, and many more.

About the Author

SMITH Magazine founding editor Larry Smith has worked as an editor at Men's Journal, ESPN: The Magazine, and Might. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Popular Science, on, and many other places. Larry lives in New York City

Product Details

  • File Size: 2292 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (January 3, 2012)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005DB7N8I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #348,783 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BookHounds January 7, 2012


This is such an inspiring book of essays! It is full of famous and not so famous people relating what moment in their lives was truly something that had a great impact on their lives and the lives of others, even if they didn't realize it at the time. The stories are honest and reflective in a way that can be most surprising to the reader. Each one has somewhat of an Ah Ha moment where the author describes an occurrence of an event that at the time, really didn't seem that important but when they look back upon it, it is special indeed.

I think my favorite one is Melissa Etheridge relating her singing A Piece of My Heart on an award show while she was undergoing cancer treatment at the time. She didn't see it as anything important at the time, but that performance gave strength to breast cancer survivors everywhere. She did it while not looking her best and with no hair. There are alot of little things this book offers most of which, is the wonderful attitude of those who have just done things and then thought about them later. You can easily pick this one up read a few pages and then reread the same pages and get even more out of the stories.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking and entertaining January 5, 2012
This book is perfect for someone like me, who loves to read but is short on time. Since I bought it, I've been reading a few stories each night before bed. I always set out to read one or two, but succumb to reading more like three or four. The "moments" are funny, engaging, soulful, smart, and sad, and though they give just a peek into the lives of the people who wrote them, I seem to finish each story feeling like I know each writer intimately. It's what I love about memoir. Buy this book - you'll love it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great. January 12, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I sit down and say to myself I'll read a story or two and end up reading ten or twenty. Each one as thought-provoking as the next. I'm not exactly what you'd call a "reader" but I'm having trouble keeping this one down.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sweet and sad and utterly lovely January 13, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The strength of all the Smith projects (, the 6 Word Memoir books) is their celebration of the genuine. Of life as it *is* lived, not how we would like it to be lived. Of people and their connections to one another. Of the way the grand and the mundane are often colocated. The Moment scales up the scope of each writer's entry from the 6-word level, but still keeps it petite, leaving each entry short enough to be enjoyed in a single sitting (you may find yourself reading 5-10 at a whack), capturing much of the same immediacy and betcha-can't-read-just-one feeling as the 6-word books, but with a far heftier emotional punch. Like life, It's funny and sad in equal measure. And it's unafraid to bring a clear-eyed honesty to each.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guts and Glory January 4, 2012
What does it mean to be a human? You might find some answers here. Can't recommend this book highly enough and not just because I'm married to one of the writers in it. In fact, this is one of the writers from the book signed in on her husband's account to make it seem like she isn't just tooting her own horn. Guess I just gave myself away. Ahem. Anyway: The Moment is colossal.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read! August 5, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The stories were so diverse even with the common theme of "the moment." I loved the book! I've already recommended it to friends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it, and want more March 21, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My husband went to see some of the authors read their essays at a bookstore in SF, and recommended this book to me. It was a ridiculously fast read and super satisfying especially for me who has about 10 minutes of personal time each night before I fall straight to sleep each night. It is enough to complete a few essays and feel satisfied. My favorite was the essay about the New Yorker photographer's near death experience in the middle east, but they were all great.

My only (minor) complaint is that I wish the bios of the writers came directly after each story, because it was really cool to hear about who each writer was. Flipping back and forth, not easy on a kindle.

Besides that, keep it coming!
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