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Message on a napkin

Esquire has commissioned a collection of very short stories – short enough to fit on a cocktail napkin, to be precise. For “The Esquire Napkin Project,” the magazine mailed blank napkins to dozens of writers, asking them to fill them in as they saw fit.

Now nearly 75 responses have been posted on the site. Some are minimalist (like Aimee Bender’s) and some are maximalist (with some dedicated scribbling, Rick Moody manages to get 1,500 words onto his napkin). And Canada’s own Sheila Heti really gets into the spirit of the project, offering up a convincing small-scale psychodrama that begins “!You and Margary humiliated yourselves last night” and goes on from there.