140 Character Relationships, an FSG Book Experiment

NB: So I’ve been at FSG for a month, doing a lot of long-term planning and some necessary but boring back-end work. Here’s a new project I came up with.

Many of you are familiar with Smith Magazine‘s 6 Word Memoir project, where autobiographies are composed with the restrictions famously laid down by Hemingway. (Legend has it he said he could write a short story using only six words: “For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.”)

I thought it would be fun to tweak this concept toward the subject of a recent FSG/Faber & Faber title, Us: Americans Talk About Love by John Bowe. In a Studs Turkel-esque fashion, Bowe canvassed the country getting people’s first-person accounts of love. All the various lengths of relationships, types, and dirty proclivities. They range from the sweet to the, um… intimate, from playground love to bitterness to polyamory. (More here, including recent articles.)

So what’s the experiment?

Thought you’d never ask. I’ve pulled lines from the book to distribute on Twitter (@usbook) over the next week or so, with the length of the source’s relationship in parentheses:

I’m hoping other people will add their own. Can you summarize your past or present relationships in 140 characters? Valentine’s Day is coming up, which should add to the general cheesiness/vitriol of people’s responses. You can use the #lovetalk hashtag to see everyone’s contributions. Of course, I’m not exempt:

As a primer, here’s Kayla, Age 5:

Related: Americans-Talk.com

One last note: can you tell I’m not a trained publicist? This struck me as the easiest way to describe the experiment and tell everyone. Apologies for any rookie mistakes!

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2 Comments

Filed under farrar straus and giroux, socialmedia

2 responses to “140 Character Relationships, an FSG Book Experiment

  1. “Untrained” publicists make the best publicists. I know I’m not alone in preferring creativity and transparency in marketing to slick pitches (which are so ’90s). Go get ’em, Chapman!

  2. I really love the way “Turkel-esque” sounds and intend to use it in a sentence as soon as possible.

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