Hint Fiction

Hint Fiction Cover

Hint Fiction

An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer

By Robert Swartwood (Editor)

W. W. Norton & Company, Paperback, 9780393338461, 188pp.

Publication Date: November 1, 2010

The stories in this collection run the gamut from playful to tragic, conservative to experimental, but they all have one thing in common: they are no more than 25 words long. Robert Swartwood was inspired by Ernest Hemingway's possibly apocryphal six-word story "For Sale: baby shoes, never worn" to foster the writing of these incredibly short-short stories. He termed them "hint fiction" because the few chosen words suggest a larger, more complex chain of events. Spare and evocative, these stories prove that a brilliantly honed narrative can be as startling and powerful as a story of traditional length. The 125 gemlike stories in this collection come from such best-selling and award-winning authors as Joyce Carol Oates, Ha Jin, Peter Straub, and James Frey, as well as emerging writers.