Napkin Narratives

by Mallary Tenore Tarpley


Sometimes napkins are just better, especially when dining out. Why dirty your hands with ink on a hot date or scramble through your purse to find that crumpled-up receipt to write on when you could just reach across the table and grab a napkin?

This is what Esquire magazine had in mind when crafting “The Napkin Fiction Project.” At work today I stumbled across the project, in which Esquire mailed napkins to 250 different writers to see what they would write on them. Talk about alternative story forms! 

Some of the napkin narratives are borderline inappropriate, some are beautifully crafted, others are profound.

I like that there are photos of the napkins, but it would have been an even better project if there were a multimedia component to it. Maybe there could have been a video of a writer reading his/her tale, or a photo slideshow of the napkins, accompanied by snippets of audio from the writers. Even without the multimedia, though, this is still an interesting project.

What would your napkin say?