counter create hit The Art of the Short Story - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

The Art of the Short Story

Availability: Ready to download

This affordably-priced collection presents masterpieces of short fiction from 52 of the greatest story writers of all time. From Sherwood Anderson to Virginia Woolf, this anthology encompasses a rich global and historical mix of the very best works of short fiction and presents them in a way students will find accessible, engaging, and relevant. The book's unique integrati This affordably-priced collection presents masterpieces of short fiction from 52 of the greatest story writers of all time. From Sherwood Anderson to Virginia Woolf, this anthology encompasses a rich global and historical mix of the very best works of short fiction and presents them in a way students will find accessible, engaging, and relevant. The book's unique integration of biographical and critical background gives students a more intimate understanding of the works and their authors. Contents: Part I. Introduction. The art of the short story.-- Part II. Stories [A-J]. Chinua Achebe: Dead men's path ; Author's perspective, Achebe: modern Africa as the crossroads of culture -- Sherwood Anderson: Hands ; Author's perspective, Anderson: Words not plot give form to a short story -- Margaret Atwood: Happy endings ; Author's perspective, Atwood: On the Canadian identity -- James Baldwin: Sonny's blues ; Author's perspective, Baldwin: Race and the African-American writer -- Jorge Luis Borges: The garden of forking paths ; Author's perspective, Borges: Literature as experience -- Albert Camus: The guest ; Author's perspective, Camus: Revolution and repression in Algeria -- Raymond Carver: Cathedral ; A small, good thing ; Author's perspective, Carver: Commonplace but precise language -- Willa Cather: Paul's case ; Author's perspective, Cather: Art as the process of simplification -- John Cheever: The swimmer ; Author's perspective, Cheever: Why I write short stories -- Anton Chekhov: The lady with the pet dog ; Misery ; Author's perspective, Chekhov: Natural description and "The center of gravity" -- Kate Chopin: The storm ; The story of an hour ; Author's perspective, Chopin: My writing method -- Sandra Cisneros: Barbie-Q ; Author's perspective, Cisneros: Bilingual style -- Joseph Conrad: The secret sharer ; Author's perspective, Conrad: The condition of art -- Stephen Crane: The open boat ; Author's perspective, Crane: The sinking of the Commodore -- Ralph Ellison: A party down at the square ; Author's perspective, Ellison: Race and fiction -- William Faulkner: Barn burning ; A rose for Emily ; Author's perspective, Faulkner: The human heart in conflict with itself -- F. Scott Fitzgerald: Babylon revisited ; Author's perspective, Fitzgerald: On his own literary aims -- Gustave Flaubert: A simple heart ; Author's perspective, Flaubert: The labor of style -- Gabriel García Marquez: A very old man with enormous wings ; Author's perspective, García Marquez: My beginnings as a writer -- Charlotte Perkins Gilman: The yellow wallpaper ; Author's perspective, Gilman: Why I wrote "The yellow wallpaper" -- Nikolai Gogol: The overcoat ; Author's perspective, Gogol: On realism -- Nadine Gordimer: A company of laughing faces ; Author's perspective, Gordimer: How the short story differs from the novel -- Nathaniel Hawthorne: Young Goodman Brown ; The birthmark ; Author's perspective, Hawthorne: On the public failure of his early stories -- Ernest Hemingway: A clean, well-lighted place ; Author's perspective, Hemingway: One true sentence -- Zora Neale Hurston: Sweat ; Author's perspective, Hurston: Eatonville when you look at it -- Shirley Jackson: The lottery ; Author's perspective, Jackson: The public reception of "The lottery" -- Henry James: The real thing ; Author's perspective, James: The mirror of a consciousness -- Ha Jin: Saboteur ; Author's perspective, Jin: Deciding to write in English -- James Joyce : Araby ; The dead ; Author's perspective, Joyce: Epiphanies. Contents: Part II[ Cont.]. Stories [K-W]. Franz Kafka: Before the law ; The metamorphosis ; Author's perspective, Kafka: Discussing The metamorphosis -- D.H. Lawrence: Odour of Chrysanthemums ; The rocking-horse winner ; Author's perspective, Lawrence: The novel is the bright book of life -- Ursula K. Le Guin: the ones who walk away from Omelas ; Author's perspective, Le Guin: On "The ones who walk away from Omelas" -- Doris Lessing: A woman on a roof ; Author's perspective, Lessing: My beginnings as a writer -- Jack London: To build a fire ; Author's perspective, London: Defending the factuality of "To build a fire" -- Katherine Mansfield: Miss Brill ; The garden-party ; Author's perspective, Mansfield: On "The garden-party" -- Bobbie Ann Mason: Shiloh ; Author's perspective, Mason: Minimalist fiction -- Guy de Maupassant: The necklace ; Author's perspective, Maupassant: The realist method -- Herman Melville: Bartleby, the scrivener : a story of Wall-Street ; Author's perspective, Melville: American literature -- Yukio Mishima: Patriotism ; Author's perspective, Mishima: Physical courage and death -- Alice Munro: How I met my husband ; Author's perspective, Munro: How I write short stories -- Joyce Carol Oates: where are you going, where have you been? ; Author's perspective, Oates: Productivity and the critics -- Flannery O'Connor: A good man is hard to find ; Revelation ; Author's perspective, O'Connor: The element of suspense in "A good man is hard to find" -- Edgar Allan Poe: The fall of the House of Usher ; The Tell-tale heart ; Author's perspective, Poe: The tale and its effect -- Katherine Anne Porter: Flowering Judas ; Author's perspective, Porter: Writing "Flowering Judas" -- Leslie Marmon Silko: The man to send rain clouds ; Author's perspective, Silko: the basis of "The man to send rain clouds" -- Isaac Bashevis singer: Gimpel the Fool ; Author's perspective, Singer: The character of Gimpel -- Leo Tolstoy: The death of Ivan Ilych ; Author's perspective, Tolstoy: The moral responsibility of art -- John Updike: Separating ; Author's perspective, Why write? -- Alice Walker: Everyday use ; Author's perspective, Walker: The Black woman writer in America -- Eudora Welty: Why I live at the P.O. ; Author's perspective, Welty: The plot of the short story -- Edith Wharton: Roman fever ; Author's perspective, Wharton: The subject of short stories -- Virginia Woolf: A haunted house ; Author's perspective, Woolf: Women and fiction. Contents: Part III. Writing. The elements of short fiction -- Writing about fiction -- Critical approaches to literature. Formalist criticism: Light and darkness in "Sonny's Blues" / Michael Clark -- Biographical criticism: Chekhov's attitude to romantic love / Virginia Llewellyn Smith -- Historical criticism: The Argentine context of Borges's fantastic fiction / John King -- Psychological criticism: The father-figure in "The tell-tale heart" / Daniel Hoffman -- Mythological criticism: Myth in Faulkner's "Barn Burning" / Edmond Volpe -- "Sociological criticism: Money and labor in "The rocking-horse winner" / Daniel P. Watkins -- Gender criticism: Gender and pathology in "The yellow wallpaper" / Juliann Fleenor -- Reader-response criticism: An Eskimo "A Rose for Emily" / Stanley Fish -- Deconstructionist criticism: The death of the author / Roland Barthes -- Cultural studies: What is cultural studies? / Makr Bauerlein. Part IV. Glossary of literary terms.


Compare
Ads Banner

This affordably-priced collection presents masterpieces of short fiction from 52 of the greatest story writers of all time. From Sherwood Anderson to Virginia Woolf, this anthology encompasses a rich global and historical mix of the very best works of short fiction and presents them in a way students will find accessible, engaging, and relevant. The book's unique integrati This affordably-priced collection presents masterpieces of short fiction from 52 of the greatest story writers of all time. From Sherwood Anderson to Virginia Woolf, this anthology encompasses a rich global and historical mix of the very best works of short fiction and presents them in a way students will find accessible, engaging, and relevant. The book's unique integration of biographical and critical background gives students a more intimate understanding of the works and their authors. Contents: Part I. Introduction. The art of the short story.-- Part II. Stories [A-J]. Chinua Achebe: Dead men's path ; Author's perspective, Achebe: modern Africa as the crossroads of culture -- Sherwood Anderson: Hands ; Author's perspective, Anderson: Words not plot give form to a short story -- Margaret Atwood: Happy endings ; Author's perspective, Atwood: On the Canadian identity -- James Baldwin: Sonny's blues ; Author's perspective, Baldwin: Race and the African-American writer -- Jorge Luis Borges: The garden of forking paths ; Author's perspective, Borges: Literature as experience -- Albert Camus: The guest ; Author's perspective, Camus: Revolution and repression in Algeria -- Raymond Carver: Cathedral ; A small, good thing ; Author's perspective, Carver: Commonplace but precise language -- Willa Cather: Paul's case ; Author's perspective, Cather: Art as the process of simplification -- John Cheever: The swimmer ; Author's perspective, Cheever: Why I write short stories -- Anton Chekhov: The lady with the pet dog ; Misery ; Author's perspective, Chekhov: Natural description and "The center of gravity" -- Kate Chopin: The storm ; The story of an hour ; Author's perspective, Chopin: My writing method -- Sandra Cisneros: Barbie-Q ; Author's perspective, Cisneros: Bilingual style -- Joseph Conrad: The secret sharer ; Author's perspective, Conrad: The condition of art -- Stephen Crane: The open boat ; Author's perspective, Crane: The sinking of the Commodore -- Ralph Ellison: A party down at the square ; Author's perspective, Ellison: Race and fiction -- William Faulkner: Barn burning ; A rose for Emily ; Author's perspective, Faulkner: The human heart in conflict with itself -- F. Scott Fitzgerald: Babylon revisited ; Author's perspective, Fitzgerald: On his own literary aims -- Gustave Flaubert: A simple heart ; Author's perspective, Flaubert: The labor of style -- Gabriel García Marquez: A very old man with enormous wings ; Author's perspective, García Marquez: My beginnings as a writer -- Charlotte Perkins Gilman: The yellow wallpaper ; Author's perspective, Gilman: Why I wrote "The yellow wallpaper" -- Nikolai Gogol: The overcoat ; Author's perspective, Gogol: On realism -- Nadine Gordimer: A company of laughing faces ; Author's perspective, Gordimer: How the short story differs from the novel -- Nathaniel Hawthorne: Young Goodman Brown ; The birthmark ; Author's perspective, Hawthorne: On the public failure of his early stories -- Ernest Hemingway: A clean, well-lighted place ; Author's perspective, Hemingway: One true sentence -- Zora Neale Hurston: Sweat ; Author's perspective, Hurston: Eatonville when you look at it -- Shirley Jackson: The lottery ; Author's perspective, Jackson: The public reception of "The lottery" -- Henry James: The real thing ; Author's perspective, James: The mirror of a consciousness -- Ha Jin: Saboteur ; Author's perspective, Jin: Deciding to write in English -- James Joyce : Araby ; The dead ; Author's perspective, Joyce: Epiphanies. Contents: Part II[ Cont.]. Stories [K-W]. Franz Kafka: Before the law ; The metamorphosis ; Author's perspective, Kafka: Discussing The metamorphosis -- D.H. Lawrence: Odour of Chrysanthemums ; The rocking-horse winner ; Author's perspective, Lawrence: The novel is the bright book of life -- Ursula K. Le Guin: the ones who walk away from Omelas ; Author's perspective, Le Guin: On "The ones who walk away from Omelas" -- Doris Lessing: A woman on a roof ; Author's perspective, Lessing: My beginnings as a writer -- Jack London: To build a fire ; Author's perspective, London: Defending the factuality of "To build a fire" -- Katherine Mansfield: Miss Brill ; The garden-party ; Author's perspective, Mansfield: On "The garden-party" -- Bobbie Ann Mason: Shiloh ; Author's perspective, Mason: Minimalist fiction -- Guy de Maupassant: The necklace ; Author's perspective, Maupassant: The realist method -- Herman Melville: Bartleby, the scrivener : a story of Wall-Street ; Author's perspective, Melville: American literature -- Yukio Mishima: Patriotism ; Author's perspective, Mishima: Physical courage and death -- Alice Munro: How I met my husband ; Author's perspective, Munro: How I write short stories -- Joyce Carol Oates: where are you going, where have you been? ; Author's perspective, Oates: Productivity and the critics -- Flannery O'Connor: A good man is hard to find ; Revelation ; Author's perspective, O'Connor: The element of suspense in "A good man is hard to find" -- Edgar Allan Poe: The fall of the House of Usher ; The Tell-tale heart ; Author's perspective, Poe: The tale and its effect -- Katherine Anne Porter: Flowering Judas ; Author's perspective, Porter: Writing "Flowering Judas" -- Leslie Marmon Silko: The man to send rain clouds ; Author's perspective, Silko: the basis of "The man to send rain clouds" -- Isaac Bashevis singer: Gimpel the Fool ; Author's perspective, Singer: The character of Gimpel -- Leo Tolstoy: The death of Ivan Ilych ; Author's perspective, Tolstoy: The moral responsibility of art -- John Updike: Separating ; Author's perspective, Why write? -- Alice Walker: Everyday use ; Author's perspective, Walker: The Black woman writer in America -- Eudora Welty: Why I live at the P.O. ; Author's perspective, Welty: The plot of the short story -- Edith Wharton: Roman fever ; Author's perspective, Wharton: The subject of short stories -- Virginia Woolf: A haunted house ; Author's perspective, Woolf: Women and fiction. Contents: Part III. Writing. The elements of short fiction -- Writing about fiction -- Critical approaches to literature. Formalist criticism: Light and darkness in "Sonny's Blues" / Michael Clark -- Biographical criticism: Chekhov's attitude to romantic love / Virginia Llewellyn Smith -- Historical criticism: The Argentine context of Borges's fantastic fiction / John King -- Psychological criticism: The father-figure in "The tell-tale heart" / Daniel Hoffman -- Mythological criticism: Myth in Faulkner's "Barn Burning" / Edmond Volpe -- "Sociological criticism: Money and labor in "The rocking-horse winner" / Daniel P. Watkins -- Gender criticism: Gender and pathology in "The yellow wallpaper" / Juliann Fleenor -- Reader-response criticism: An Eskimo "A Rose for Emily" / Stanley Fish -- Deconstructionist criticism: The death of the author / Roland Barthes -- Cultural studies: What is cultural studies? / Makr Bauerlein. Part IV. Glossary of literary terms.

30 review for The Art of the Short Story

  1. 4 out of 5

    ij

    The Art of the Short Story Authors: Dana Gioia and R.S. Gwynn Pearson-Longman, 2006 I really liked the layout of the book. There were fifty-two (52) authors presented, with sixty-three (63) short-stories. The authors were arranged in alphabetical order. For each author there was biographical information, a short-story (some had more than one story), and an “author’s perspective.” There is a diverse group of accomplished authors from many countries. The “author’s perspective” is an interesting way G The Art of the Short Story Authors: Dana Gioia and R.S. Gwynn Pearson-Longman, 2006 I really liked the layout of the book. There were fifty-two (52) authors presented, with sixty-three (63) short-stories. The authors were arranged in alphabetical order. For each author there was biographical information, a short-story (some had more than one story), and an “author’s perspective.” There is a diverse group of accomplished authors from many countries. The “author’s perspective” is an interesting way Gioia and Gwynn used to share more intimate knowledge about the 52 authors. Sometimes the perspective was about the short-story presented. However, often the author shared their thoughts about writing, race, gender, or about themselves. I was personally unfamiliar with many of the authors. The exposure to new authors was an added benefit to reading this book. Some of my favorite authors in the book are Sherwood Anderson, Margaret Atwood, James Baldwin, Anton Chekhov, William Faulkner, Zora Neale Hurston, Franz Kafka, D.H. Lawrence, Alice Munro, and Leo Tolstoy. The last section of the book covers “the elements of short fiction,” “writing about fiction,” and “critical approaches to literature.” I recommend this book to anyone interested in short-stories.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    I'm so proud of myself I finished my required reading *pat on the back* for 9th grade. I deserve a cookie. I'll probably have to read the other short stories later, but for now I'm proud of myself. My favorite short stories in this book are The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe and The Lottery by Shirley Jackson.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Eli Mandel

    When I bought this book it had a front and back cover. Three years ago, a lifetime ago, I thought I would spend more than an hour a year writing. I looked into writing classes and saw this book on the syllabus for one online class. I didn't take the class, but I've been reading this book since then. I discovered so many writers. Sherwood Anderson, Joseph Conrad, James Baldwin! Shirley Jackson, Jorge Luis Borges, Albert Camus, Alice Munro to name a few. My readings inspired more readings. I subscri When I bought this book it had a front and back cover. Three years ago, a lifetime ago, I thought I would spend more than an hour a year writing. I looked into writing classes and saw this book on the syllabus for one online class. I didn't take the class, but I've been reading this book since then. I discovered so many writers. Sherwood Anderson, Joseph Conrad, James Baldwin! Shirley Jackson, Jorge Luis Borges, Albert Camus, Alice Munro to name a few. My readings inspired more readings. I subscribed to The New Yorker, I tried reading James Joyce (god, what a headache-inducing exercise). I meandered off to read Stein on Writing and (Gardner's) The Art of Fiction. I began to understand what the editors meant when they referred to different literary styles employed by the writers, slowly I came out my haze of ignorance. I began to recognize what it is the masters were doing, I began to write more self-consciously. Writing self-consciously is exhausting. I stopped writing. I guess I got the education I wanted, after all. Now, I think, it's time to unlearn it all and get back to writing.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    I think I read 55ish of the 61 stories in here. The editors tried as hard as white men can to provide an array of diversity in authors but I still felt stifled, perhaps because the overwhelming majority of the stories seemed to come from the 1920s - 60s. I would have ordered things differently, and not included a picture of goddamn Ernest Hemingway at the introduction. Several selections were exactly what I'd desired: pieces that say something new and profound by authors who excel at their craft I think I read 55ish of the 61 stories in here. The editors tried as hard as white men can to provide an array of diversity in authors but I still felt stifled, perhaps because the overwhelming majority of the stories seemed to come from the 1920s - 60s. I would have ordered things differently, and not included a picture of goddamn Ernest Hemingway at the introduction. Several selections were exactly what I'd desired: pieces that say something new and profound by authors who excel at their craft but who have been mostly overlooked. Ha Jin, Katherine Mansfield, and Yukio Mishima especially stuck out. Unfortunately I first had to trudge through Stephen Crane, F. Scott Fitzgerald (whom I no longer respect), John Cheever, Hawthorne, Hemingway, London, etc. This is one of the few books I purchased rather than got from the library because of its size and scope, but also because of its -- ultimately empty -- promise of "advice from 52 of the world's most acclaimed writers" on plot, character, style, and suspense. Yeah, no. More like ramblings on life philosophies, responses to critics (#dontcare), and meaningless drivel in the vein of "when plot becomes the outward manifestation of the very germ of the story, then in its purest -- then the narrative thread is least objectionable, then it is not in the way" (Eudora Welty). Still, they did include Borges, Joyce's The Dead, and opened me up to the magnificent D.H. Lawrence. Also, although her spiel was supposedly on suspense and offered no advice about that specifically, I loved this gem from Flannery O'Connor: "...in my own stories I have found that violence is strangely capable of returning my characters to reality and preparing them to accept their moment of grace." So this compilation has its pros and cons and when all is said and done seems above average, but the Goodreads ratings overall are too generous.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kaion

    Very staid and safe selection primed for intro courses and extremely limited in anything not from the English. Still, it's a good introduction if you've been feeling guilty about not reading any short stories, especially if you know which authors to skip straight to. There are some five star stories in here despite their reputations. And lookie how lucky you are that I did all the leg work: (4 stars) The best, without further commentary: 1. "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker 2. "Sonny's Blues" by James Very staid and safe selection primed for intro courses and extremely limited in anything not from the English. Still, it's a good introduction if you've been feeling guilty about not reading any short stories, especially if you know which authors to skip straight to. There are some five star stories in here despite their reputations. And lookie how lucky you are that I did all the leg work: (4 stars) The best, without further commentary: 1. "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker 2. "Sonny's Blues" by James Baldwin 3. "Roman Fever" by Edith Wharton 4. "A Small, Good Thing" by Raymond Carver 5. "Babylon Revisted" by F. Scott Fitzgerald 6. "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman 7. "The Storm" by Kate Chopin 8. "The Garden of Forking Paths" by Jorge Luis Borges 9. "The Open Boat" by Stephen Crane 10. "The Garden Party" by Katherine Mansfield HM: "The Necklace" by Guy Maupassant, "Why I Live at the P.O." by Eudora Welty The worst, or it's not you, it's the gaping metaphorical vagina that swallows a house* evil Puritans: 1. "Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne 2. "The Secret Sharer" by Joseph Conrad 3. "The Real Thing" by Henry James 4. "A Haunted House" by Virginia Woolf 5. "Araby" by James Joyce *I changed my mind on "The Fall of the House of Usher", because I can't deny that it is decent camp read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    David Clark

    I have been reading short-story anthologies searching for a collection that might serve as a single text for an undergraduate course covering short fiction. This collection by Dana Gioia and R.S. Gwynn is by far the best candidate. This lengthy text contained stories I have taught like Hawthorne's "The Birthmark" and Raymond Carver's "Cathedral" but also collects some unknown gems--at least, unknown to me--by authors better known for their long fiction. For instance I was unaware of William Faul I have been reading short-story anthologies searching for a collection that might serve as a single text for an undergraduate course covering short fiction. This collection by Dana Gioia and R.S. Gwynn is by far the best candidate. This lengthy text contained stories I have taught like Hawthorne's "The Birthmark" and Raymond Carver's "Cathedral" but also collects some unknown gems--at least, unknown to me--by authors better known for their long fiction. For instance I was unaware of William Faulkner's gem," A Rose for Emily" or Gabriel Garcia Marquez's example of magical realism, "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings." Both were unexpected reading delights, delights I will share in the class-room. Finally, the didactic portion of the book was, well, short. However, perhaps with a bit of supplement this might be all that is necessary. And, with so much excellent short prose on offer, a short critique section is probably appropriate.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Dorneman

    This massive (926 pages) collection of short stories by 52 different authors includes biographical notes plus short essays by each author on the writing process. Clearly intended as a textbook (with a literary terms glossary, examples of how student papers should be written, and examples from many different types of literary criticism following the stories), it is still a great way for a writer or reader to familiarize or reacquaint themselves with the classics of the form. I'm always happy to r This massive (926 pages) collection of short stories by 52 different authors includes biographical notes plus short essays by each author on the writing process. Clearly intended as a textbook (with a literary terms glossary, examples of how student papers should be written, and examples from many different types of literary criticism following the stories), it is still a great way for a writer or reader to familiarize or reacquaint themselves with the classics of the form. I'm always happy to reread Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find," Jack London's "To Build a FIre," or Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper," but I was even happier to be introduced for the first time to Katherine Mansfield's "The Garden-Party," Edith Wharton's "Roman Fever," and Sandra Cisneros's "Barbie-Q." Even if it meant suffering through Leo Tolstoy's "The Death of Ivan Ilych." Recommended.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gabriela Freitas

    Favorite short stories: "Happy Endings" - Margaret Atwood "Sonny's Blues" - James Baldwin "The Guest" - Albert Camus "Misery" - Anton Chekhov "The Story of an Hour" - Kate Chopin “The Secret Sharer” - Joseph Conrad "A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings" - Gabriel García Márquez "The Yellow Wallpaper" - Charlotte Perkins Gilman "The Lottery" - Shirley Jackson "Before the Law" - Franz Kafka "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" - Ursula K. Le Guin "The Death of Ivan Ilyich" - Leo Tolstoy “A Haunted House” - Virg Favorite short stories: "Happy Endings" - Margaret Atwood "Sonny's Blues" - James Baldwin "The Guest" - Albert Camus "Misery" - Anton Chekhov "The Story of an Hour" - Kate Chopin “The Secret Sharer” - Joseph Conrad "A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings" - Gabriel García Márquez "The Yellow Wallpaper" - Charlotte Perkins Gilman "The Lottery" - Shirley Jackson "Before the Law" - Franz Kafka "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" - Ursula K. Le Guin "The Death of Ivan Ilyich" - Leo Tolstoy “A Haunted House” - Virginia Woolf

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    This book is an excellent short story collection, but what I like the most is that the selections are paired with reflections in the writers' own works about their writing and philosophy of writing. The back of the book has some excellent ancillary material that is helpful to students. Highly recommended.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lecky

    It’s more than just a wonderful short story collection. It opens the front gate to a literary mansion and lights up a driveway paved with the “author’s perspectives.” These inspiring insights from writers distinguish it from other short story anthologies. Gioia and Gwynn deserve some credit for this approach, (if they stole it from elsewhere or if it’s a common editorial technique, then excuse my ignorance, but if it’s as original as it now seems to me, then well done Sirs) which is a masterful It’s more than just a wonderful short story collection. It opens the front gate to a literary mansion and lights up a driveway paved with the “author’s perspectives.” These inspiring insights from writers distinguish it from other short story anthologies. Gioia and Gwynn deserve some credit for this approach, (if they stole it from elsewhere or if it’s a common editorial technique, then excuse my ignorance, but if it’s as original as it now seems to me, then well done Sirs) which is a masterful way to inspire readers and writers and is quite an accomplishment. Practical considerations: the anthology is ordered alphabetically by author’s name, everything about the book from a consumer’s point of view is adequate, it has a good binding and spine. It held up to daily schlepping and the size is thick but manageable. It has the author and story name as the running headers. The biographies are practical, straightforward and of appropriate length, the Literary Criticism introductions are satisfactory. It’s close to a perfect book for some introductory writing class like Shariann Lewitt’s MIT OCW. Was I inspired? Yes. I found Alice Munro moving through stories like she moves “through a house,” watching Bobby Ann Mason place a “jug of flowers” in John Updike’s kitchen where he sits as a child under the “swollen orb of his excitement” aspiring to be a “transparent” “pencil.” He bellows and echoes from a cave shaped like a mouth and enriches my understanding of the writer as a “conduit.” Ha Jin might be in that kitchen too, with his wife refusing to let him open rejection letters because he reworks them until there is nothing left to do but “send it out.” The ‘perspectives’ portray the authors as real people more so than mini-bios are capable of doing and so we find hard-working Willa Cather “sacrificing a dozen fairly good stories” for one “first-rate story,” and more-than-hard-working Flaubert making my simple heart cry as I sit in my grey cubicle longing to try his version of “drudgery.” Tolstoy admonishes the “peaceful cooperation of all mankind” and I think Yes Leo, you’re right, “only art can accomplish this,” but then I see Camus and Faulkner smiling at our naivety, pointing at Kafka. Kafka “is a dead end.” Beep, beep, beep. In the 21st century, our machinery backs up with a sound I reckon Kafka could use to wake an entire generation up in a sweating nightmare. Camus is tragically serious in his conclusions about the price of victory and Faulkner too is serious as an atom bomb when pointing at the mushroom cloud in a writer's heart as the source of good writing. Yet inspiration comes from not only from the hardworking and serious folks but also from the cute: Chopin’s “integrity of crudities” is a marvelous lesson about trusting yourself. The 3 by 5 card found in the excerpt of Raymond Carver’s On Writing was enough to send me looking for the rest of the 3 by 5 cards sticking to his wall, and on that google search, I stumbled across The Paris Review’s The Art of Fiction series which I fully intend to dive into. Along those lines, after The Swimmer, cheeky Cheever challenges novelists by sneaking a brilliant little story into Why I Write Short Stories and saying “You can’t.” Ursula Le Guin “forgets Dostoevsky and reads road signs backwards.” She strikes a challenging, flirtatious tone as she asks her gushing literary first dates, “Where else?” where I imagine literary thieves like Fitzgerald sit in her audience, mischievously interviewing themselves, hoping to steal not only technique but the very source of inspiration. Borges also has an interview, as do Cisneros, Garcia Marquez, Silko, Singer, Walker, and Oates, but only the Borges excerpt does its job and sent me searching for the real thing (that’s not a comment on the authors, it’s on the strength or weakness of Gioia’s selections). The irritable Shirley Jackson looks rather like Sisyphus to Camus, pushing that damn baby stroller up an eternal hill; stoned in life as Cheever’s Mr. Hartshore, we hope to mull over the absurd as found in Jackson, Camus, and Poe rather than descend to writing damning letters. Perhaps Hawthorne will lead us in a nada prayer that Jackson, Poe, and Camus aren’t in his version of hell, or even in his earthly unheated house writing with “numb fingers.” Hemingway deigns to say more than nada in A Moveable Feast, its servings include ‘one true sentence’ and ‘when to stop,’ both of which are jam-packed into this appetizing excerpt. (In case you were wondering, the prayer didn’t work, Kafka is objecting to gold lettering on leather-bound volumes, and insisting he’s still a dead end, we’ll have to back up again.) This literary driveway is so inviting, intoxicating really, and urges me (successfully) to continue reading more and more short stories, I’m so grateful to Gioia and Gwynn for the book; however, I have to object to the selection from Melville. Bartleby is magnificent and most appreciated, but I’d prefer not to be subjected to this excerpt from Hawthorne and His Moses. Why do Dana Gioia and R.S. Gwynn serve us the cold leftovers of 19th-century patriotism? I daresay this is the weakest page in the book. Could you not find any suitable scrap of Melville’s writing? Does the world in 2005 (at the time of publication) gain anything at all from the inclusion of this admonition to nurture American writers? What benefit do readers get from a sour tart lauding American superiority and the duties of nationalism? It is the only ‘author’s perspective’ piece that is actually destructive. What room is there in this book for bygone patriotism of this type? Overall, I’m impressed, and heartily recommend the book, it cost me $16 new, it’s worth the purchase, especially if you found it like I did, perusing free creative writing classes, MOOCs, open courses, etc. One last item, Flannery O’Connor’s notion of a “gesture” indicating the “real heart of the story” stuck with me. I find ‘gestures’ in short stories, movies, plays, and novels; life, like literature, also has ‘gestures.’ I describe this book as a front gate and a driveway, it is a welcoming gesture to me, in it I see an embrace, from all these stories, their authors, and their readers, to join the literary journey.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lotte

    If you enjoy short fiction (my favorite genre), this is a must-read! This outstanding collection of classic short stories (Fall of the House of Usher, The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas, The Yellow Wallpaper, The Swimmer) features an informative biography of the author prefacing each story, and concludes each piece with some words on the art of writing by the author. Any reader is sure to meet some old favorites and discover new masterpieces (for example, Patriotism by Yukio Mishima). Don't miss If you enjoy short fiction (my favorite genre), this is a must-read! This outstanding collection of classic short stories (Fall of the House of Usher, The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas, The Yellow Wallpaper, The Swimmer) features an informative biography of the author prefacing each story, and concludes each piece with some words on the art of writing by the author. Any reader is sure to meet some old favorites and discover new masterpieces (for example, Patriotism by Yukio Mishima). Don't miss Wharton's Roman Fever! Included in the book is a short section near the end with extra materials to help the reader better understand the elements of the short story.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Rose

    In the spirit of Emerson who said "First we read, then we write", I picked up The Art of the Short Story. I'm learning so much from all who have gone before me. It can be intimidating, how can I hope to follow...? My favourite thing about this book is that each author is presented in three parts: a Biographical Sketch; an example of their work; and their perspective on why and how they write, the difficulties and pain involved... This section gives me hope. Everyone struggles, no-one finds it ea In the spirit of Emerson who said "First we read, then we write", I picked up The Art of the Short Story. I'm learning so much from all who have gone before me. It can be intimidating, how can I hope to follow...? My favourite thing about this book is that each author is presented in three parts: a Biographical Sketch; an example of their work; and their perspective on why and how they write, the difficulties and pain involved... This section gives me hope. Everyone struggles, no-one finds it easy, every "great" was once a novice who looked to the "greats" before them...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    This was the reader that went along with my Intermediate Fiction Writing class this semester. We would read a story a week and respond to it. I really enjoyed the stories anthologized here and was definitely introduced to some new authors whose writing I really enjoy!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mimi

    All the "classic" short stories writing teachers ever need to teach are compacted into one convenient anthology. What I find most convenient are the author's brief biographies and the ideas and inspirations behind the short stories. Both authors and titles are listed on the blurb page.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Another fantastic collection of short stories by short story masters--some that you expect to find in such a collection, others off the beaten path. The book also includes several essays by many of the authors on their writing processes. Which I like to see.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Louis Lowy

    The masters of short story writing from Sherwood Anderson to Virginia Woolf. Each story comes with an article or essay written by the author. A true inspiration to my own writing.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Hirsch

    My personal taste in fiction leans toward the middlebrow. I like some great literature that's been canonized, but most of that great literature was either underrated in its own time or mostly ignored, dismissed with a haughty sniff as adventure fiction or pulp. High literature, that scaffolding upon which people build careers as critics and theorists, is usually aggressively about nothing, or at least anti-plot in my opinion. A detective gets an assignment from a beautiful woman to find her miss My personal taste in fiction leans toward the middlebrow. I like some great literature that's been canonized, but most of that great literature was either underrated in its own time or mostly ignored, dismissed with a haughty sniff as adventure fiction or pulp. High literature, that scaffolding upon which people build careers as critics and theorists, is usually aggressively about nothing, or at least anti-plot in my opinion. A detective gets an assignment from a beautiful woman to find her missing husband = hardboiled, and I'm in. A vignette in the "New Yorker" about a man battling prostate cancer and struggling to fit a storm window in its sash is literature, and I'd rather chew mothballs to powder while getting kicked in the crotch for an hour by a strident feminist than read three-thousand words of that. A rocket is sent to a newly-discovered planet to decipher what is either an encrypted message from an alien race or might just be solar activity = a solid science fiction story that I look forward to reading; a story about an ageing English professor infatuated with one of the undergrads in his poetry seminar who succumbs to his temptation while picking apples with said-girl on a stroll through the New England countryside is literature, and is the kind of thing I would genuinely read only under duress, for a grade as a young man or when nothing else was available in the doctor's office waiting room. I front-loaded that overlong explication of my philistinism as a way to emphasize how little I expected to enjoy this volume, and how rewarding I found it, from cover to cover. There are adventure stories by Joseph Conrad and horror stories by Poe, but there are also offerings by masters of picking apples, complaining about their prostates and foisting themselves on wide-eyed undergrads. And you know what? These sorts of stories I would usually find tiresome are well-picked enough by the editors of this volume, and well-written enough by the authors, that my appreciation for this sort of literary writing grew as I read. I went from tolerating such excursions to enjoying them. As I read through the collection (which clocks in at a little more than 900 pages) I found myself issuing silent mea culpas to the ghosts of John Cheever, John Updike, John Gardner (a lot of Johns) and to a host of living literary writers whose works I had dismissed or avoided (see John Irving), seemingly from a lack of pretension, but in reality, owing to a host of my own closely-held prejudices no less rigid than those held by the most staid apple-picking, undergrad-wooing, corduroy-jacketed, Meerschaum-pipe-smoking English Lit professor cossetted away behind the high stone walls of the Ivies. Anything that can break up such calcified and long-held prejudices is great. Even better would be to get this kind of book in the hands of a future writer or critic when they're relatively young and not quite as (mal)formed as yours truly. Biographical sketches, a glossary of terms, and an overview of various literary concepts make it clear that the pair who put this thing together were one step ahead of me in this department. A fellow philistine friend of mine once said that friends don't recommend books over 500 pages to fellow friends, but let me transgress, walk from the rooming-house back onto the campus greens one last time, and say, "Highest recommendation." Don't tell my friend I told you so.

  18. 4 out of 5

    J.P. Behrens

    So, my rating is entirely based on the job the editors did. The fiction is masterful, a glance down the Table of Contents will affirm that. My issues with this collection are these: The authors are arranged alphabetically. Normally this would not be an issue, however, the book’s stated purpose is to show the art of the short story. Most of the bios reference other authors featured in the book as influential to how later authors write. It’s jarring to bounce through time. The works should have bee So, my rating is entirely based on the job the editors did. The fiction is masterful, a glance down the Table of Contents will affirm that. My issues with this collection are these: The authors are arranged alphabetically. Normally this would not be an issue, however, the book’s stated purpose is to show the art of the short story. Most of the bios reference other authors featured in the book as influential to how later authors write. It’s jarring to bounce through time. The works should have been arranged chronologically. If you pick up this book, go by the dates and bounce around in the book. You will learn more. Next, the author’s perspectives at the end of each section are not as informative, inspirational, or useful as one would hope. Most are interesting as a look into an authors personal perspectives, but few have any real advice for writers. Finally, the end matter of the book is directed at college students and reads as a 101 level writing textbook. All of the collected authors should be read, only this collection is organized is a way that causes confusion at times and deep shifts is readability slipping from modern Magical Realism to turn of the century dark parables and back.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Norvey

    Great collection of stories. Read this for a class, and was impressed by the number of stories and the caliber of writer included in the collection.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shan

    An enormous anthology with 63 stories, along with comments about writing by the authors. It covers a couple hundred years and a bunch of countries, and it's arranged alphabetically by author which gives it a random feel if you start at the beginning, which I'm doing. Recommended by Neil Gaiman in his masterclass on writing. It's taking me way outside my normal reading zone. Expanded horizons are good. Dead Men's Path by Chinua Achebe, 1957. Very short tale of an administrator who arrogantly destr An enormous anthology with 63 stories, along with comments about writing by the authors. It covers a couple hundred years and a bunch of countries, and it's arranged alphabetically by author which gives it a random feel if you start at the beginning, which I'm doing. Recommended by Neil Gaiman in his masterclass on writing. It's taking me way outside my normal reading zone. Expanded horizons are good. Dead Men's Path by Chinua Achebe, 1957. Very short tale of an administrator who arrogantly destroys a right-of-way the community has always used, with dire results. Modern Africa living shakily on the foundation of ancient culture. Hands by Sherwood Anderson. 1919. Atmospheric story of a former schoolteacher living out his bleak and lonely life after a false accusation. Small towns and cruelty and kindness. Happy Endings by Margaret Atwood, 1983. Entertaining choose-your-own-ending experiment, in which the common denominator is that sooner or later, the characters die. It's what comes before that matters. Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin, 1957. The responsible dull brother's story of his colorful but apparently doomed younger brother in Harlem. We don't always see people closest to us as they really are. The Garden of Forking Paths by Jorge Luis Borges, 1941. A very strange story about a spy trying to get some information to Germany. I didn't understand this story and I didn't like it enough to put in the work necessary to get it. Maybe I'll go back to it later on. The Guest by Albert Camus, 1958. A glimpse into the Algerian revolution against France, from the point of view of an uninvolved schoolmaster drawn into the conflict, with a passionate articulate author's comment afterwards that should be required reading for every U.S. lawmaker. Cathedral by Raymond Carver, 1983. Sparely written story about a man, his wife, and the wife’s blind friend who comes to visit. Only the blind man is named. A Small, Good Thing by Raymond Carver, 1983. A woman orders a birthday cake for her son. The boy is hit by a car on his birthday and goes into a coma, and they don't pick up the cake; the baker keeps calling the house, getting more and more abusive. Again, sparsely written, but effective. Misunderstanding; the way life can change in an instant; the way life can build disappointment and send you on a bad path; the power of a small, good thing like eating a warm roll at the bakery. Read 1/8/20.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    Some of the best stories in this collection so far: 1. Sherwood Anderson "Hands" 2. James Baldwin "Sonny's Blues" 3. Jorge Luis Borges "The Garden of Forking Paths" 4. Albert Camus "The Guest" 5. Raymond Carver "Cathedral" & "A Small, Good Thing" 6. William Faulkner "Barn Burning" & "A Rose For Emily" 7. F. Scott Fitzgerald "Babylon Revisited" 8. Charlotte Perkins Gilman "The Yellow Wallpaper" 9. Nikolai Gogol "The Overcoat" 10. Ernest Hemingway "A Cool Well-Lighted Place" 11. Shirley Jackson "The Lottery Some of the best stories in this collection so far: 1. Sherwood Anderson "Hands" 2. James Baldwin "Sonny's Blues" 3. Jorge Luis Borges "The Garden of Forking Paths" 4. Albert Camus "The Guest" 5. Raymond Carver "Cathedral" & "A Small, Good Thing" 6. William Faulkner "Barn Burning" & "A Rose For Emily" 7. F. Scott Fitzgerald "Babylon Revisited" 8. Charlotte Perkins Gilman "The Yellow Wallpaper" 9. Nikolai Gogol "The Overcoat" 10. Ernest Hemingway "A Cool Well-Lighted Place" 11. Shirley Jackson "The Lottery" 12. James Joyce "The Dead" 13. Franz Kafka "The Metamorphosis" 14. Ursula K. Le Guin "The ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" 15. Alice Munro "How I Met My Husband" 16. Joyce Carols Oates "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" 17. Flannery O'Connor "A Good Man is Hard To Find" 18. Katharine Anne Porter "Flowering Judas"

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    This is the textbook that accompanies an MIT online course on writing short stories. It's very good. There is a wide variety of masters of the short story from whom we can all learn or just read to enjoy a good story. What I'm saying it works well with the course or just alone. Sad that it's out of print and outdated. Some of the authors are no longer living. However, their words, as we like to say, live on. A bit weighty and unwieldy so it's good to be situation where you can hold this and read This is the textbook that accompanies an MIT online course on writing short stories. It's very good. There is a wide variety of masters of the short story from whom we can all learn or just read to enjoy a good story. What I'm saying it works well with the course or just alone. Sad that it's out of print and outdated. Some of the authors are no longer living. However, their words, as we like to say, live on. A bit weighty and unwieldy so it's good to be situation where you can hold this and read it comfortably, even with cat who insists on "reading" with you.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    I don't know if I want to get this specific book or just keep it in mind as a list of important short stories to get to. Many of these are from such important authors that I might prefer an anthology from each of them. (And I've read a ton of them already.) Here's the table of contents. And don't forget to read James Baldwin. I don't know if I want to get this specific book or just keep it in mind as a list of important short stories to get to. Many of these are from such important authors that I might prefer an anthology from each of them. (And I've read a ton of them already.) Here's the table of contents. And don't forget to read James Baldwin.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kali VanBaale

    A really fantastic collection of classic short stories, ranging in authors from Joyce Carol Oates to Anton Chekhov. Also includes a bio page for each author and a corresponding short "Author's Perspective" about some aspect of craft. A MUST read for students of the short story. I use it when teaching undergraduate short story classes.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Dietz

    Oh, you know--some really great stories and some really boring stories. Some skippable material. Some interesting pairings of stories with essays from authors explaining their work. Some non-interesting essays/interviews. But all said, I'm glad I hit quite a few of these stories because you'd think I would have long ago. Classic stuff.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Megan Peet

    As of November 23rd, 2013, I have read 19 out of 63 of these stories. My class that I was reading this for is ending, so I'm going to go ahead and put this on my "Read" shelf, but since I think I'll go back and read some more of the stories in here, I'll also put it on "Didn't finish" until I've read all of them.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    school text for a year (?) and is still a delightful shelf keep. during As prep, i would come back home from school, sit on the dining room floor, hunched over and completely immersed in a story picked at random. can count on this book to surprise you with a new author/new story. and then spirits lifted, i get back to work.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Théo

    I haven't actually read all of the stories in this book yet and don't intend on reading it the same way I would do with any novel or book of the sort, but I really like the format of this book and many of the stories in this compilation seem amazing. I'm really glad my English teacher made us buy this book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Great for teaching creative writing.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Monique S. (The Ginger Librarian)

    This was a required reading for my graduate course, Topics in American Literature.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.