Short story

A short story is a piece of prose fiction that typically can be read in one sitting and focuses on a self-contained incident or series of linked incidents, with the intent of evoking a "single effect" or mood, however there are many exceptions to this.

A dictionary definition is "an invented prose narrative shorter than a novel usually dealing with a few characters and aiming at unity of effect and often concentrating on the creation of mood rather than plot."[1]

The short story is a crafted form in its own right. Short stories make use of plot, resonance, and other dynamic components as in a novel, but typically to a lesser degree. While the short story is largely distinct from the novel or novella (a shorter novel), authors generally draw from a common pool of literary techniques.

Short story writers may define their works as part of the artistic and personal expression of the form. They may also attempt to resist categorization by genre and fixed formation.

Short stories have deep roots and the power of short fiction has been recognised in modern society for hundreds of years. The short form is, conceivably, more natural to us than longer forms. We are drawn to short stories as the well-told story, and as William Boyd, the award-winning British author and short story writer has said:

"[short stories] seem to answer something very deep in our nature as if, for the duration of its telling, something special has been created, some essence of our experience extrapolated, some temporary sense has been made of our common, turbulent journey towards the grave and oblivion".[2]

In terms of length, word count is typically anywhere from 1,000 to 4,000 for short stories, however some have 20,000 words and are still classed as short stories. Stories of fewer than 1,000 words are sometimes referred to as "short short stories", or "flash fiction".[3]

Today

21st-century short story writers run into the thousands.

Global sales of short story fiction are very strong. In the UK sales jumped 45 per cent in 2017, driven by collections from international names such as Alice Munro, new writers to the genre such as Tom Hanks, and the revival of short story salons, such as those held by short fiction company, Pin Drop Studio.[4]

More than 690,000 short stories and anthologies were sold in the UK in 2017, generating £5.88 million, the genre's highest sales since 2010.[5]

Short story salons

In 2012 Pin Drop Studio launched a short story salon held regularly in London and other major cities. Short story writers who have appeared at the salon to read their short stories to a live audience include Ben Okri, Lionel Shriver, Elizabeth Day, A.L. Kennedy, Will Self, William Boyd, Graham Swift, David Nicholls, Will Self, Sebastian Faulks, Julian Barnes, Evie Wylde and Claire Fuller.[6][7][8]

Short story awards

Prominent short story awards such as The Sunday Times Short Story Award and the Pin Drop Studio Short Story Award, attract hundreds of entries each year. Published and non-published writers take part, sending their stories from all corners of the world.[8][9][10]

Nobel Prize in Literature

Alice Munro, "master of the contemporary short story" according to her citation for the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature, said she hopes the award would bring readership for the short story in general.[11]

Adaptations

Short stories are sometimes adapted for radio, TV and film:

Length

Determining what exactly separates a short story from longer fictional formats is problematic. A classic definition of a short story is that one should be able to read it in one sitting, a point most notably made in Edgar Allan Poe's essay "The Philosophy of Composition" (1846).[12]

Interpreting this standard nowadays is problematic, because the expected length of "one sitting" may now be briefer than it was in Poe's era.

Short stories have no set length. In terms of word count there is no official demarcation between an anecdote, a short story, and a novel. Rather, the form's parameters are given by the rhetorical and practical context in which a given story is produced and considered, so that what constitutes a short story may differ between genres, countries, eras, and commentators.[13] Like the novel, the short story's predominant shape reflects the demands of the available markets for publication, and the evolution of the form seems closely tied to the evolution of the publishing industry and the submission guidelines of its constituent houses.[14]

As a point of reference for the genre writer, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America define short story length in the Nebula Awards for science fiction submission guidelines as having a word count of fewer than 7,500 words.[15]

Longer stories that cannot be called novels are sometimes considered "novellas" or novelettes and, like short stories, may be collected into the more marketable form of "collections", often containing previously unpublished stories. Sometimes, authors who do not have the time or money to write a novella or novel decide to write short stories instead, working out a deal with a popular website or magazine to publish them for profit.

History

Emerging from earlier oral storytelling traditions in the 17th century, the short story has grown to encompass a body of work so diverse as to defy easy characterization.

With the rise of the realistic novel, the short story evolved in a parallel tradition, with some of its first distinctive examples in the tales of E.T.A. Hoffmann. The character of the form developed particularly with authors known for their short fiction, either by choice (they wrote nothing else) or by critical regard, which acknowledged the focus and craft required in the short form. An example is Jorge Luis Borges, who won American fame with "The Garden of Forking Paths", published in the August 1948 Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. Another example is O. Henry (author of "Gift of the Magi"), for whom the O. Henry Award is named. Other of his most popular, inventive and most often reprinted stories (among over 600) include: A Municipal Report, An Unfinished Story, A Blackjack Barginer, A Lickpenny Lover, Mammon and the Archer, Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen, The Last Leaf. American examples include: Jack London, Ambrose Bierce, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, John Cheever, and Raymond Carver. Science fiction short story with a special poetic touch was a genre developed with great popular success by Ray Bradbury. The genre of the short story was often neglected until the second half of the 19th century.

The evolution of printing technologies and periodical editions were among the factors contributing to the increasing importance of short story publications. Pioneering role in founding the rules of the genre in the Western canon include, among others, Rudyard Kipling (United Kingdom), Anton Chekhov (Russia), Guy de Maupassant (France), Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera (Mexico) and Rubén Darío (Nicaragua).

An important theoretical example for storytelling analysis is provided by Walter Benjamin in his illuminated essay The Storyteller where he argues about the decline of storytelling art and the incommunicability of experiences in the modern world.[16] Oscar Wilde's essay The Decay of Lying and Henry James's The Art of Fiction are also partly related with this subject.

Predecessors

Short stories date back to oral storytelling traditions which originally produced epics such as Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. Oral narratives were often told in the form of rhyming or rhythmic verse, often including recurring sections or, in the case of Homer, Homeric epithets. Such stylistic devices often acted as mnemonics for easier recall, rendition and adaptation of the story. Short sections of verse might focus on individual narratives that could be told at one sitting. The overall arc of the tale would emerge only through the telling of multiple such sections.

The other ancient form of short story, the anecdote, was popular under the Roman Empire. Anecdotes functioned as a sort of parable, a brief realistic narrative that embodies a point. Many surviving Roman anecdotes were collected in the 13th or 14th century as the Gesta Romanorum. Anecdotes remained popular in Europe well into the 18th century, when the fictional anecdotal letters of Sir Roger de Coverley were published.

In Europe, the oral story-telling tradition began to develop into written stories in the early 14th century, most notably with Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron. Both of these books are composed of individual short stories (which range from farce or humorous anecdotes to well-crafted literary fictions) set within a larger narrative story (a frame story), although the frame-tale device was not adopted by all writers. At the end of the 16th century, some of the most popular short stories in Europe were the darkly tragic "novella" of Matteo Bandello (especially in their French translation).

The mid 17th century in France saw the development of a refined short novel, the "nouvelle", by such authors as Madame de Lafayette. In the 1690s, traditional fairy tales began to be published (one of the most famous collections was by Charles Perrault). The appearance of Antoine Galland's first modern translation of the Thousand and One Nights (or Arabian Nights) (from 1704; another translation appeared in 1710–12) would have an enormous influence on the 18th-century European short stories of Voltaire, Diderot and others.

1790–1850

There are early examples of short stories published separately between 1790 and 1810, but the first true collections of short stories appeared between 1810 and 1830 in several countries around the same period.[17]

The first short stories in the United Kingdom were gothic tales like Richard Cumberland's "remarkable narrative" "The Poisoner of Montremos" (1791).[18] Great novelists like Sir Walter Scott and Charles Dickens also wrote some short stories.

One of the earliest short stories in the United States was Charles Brockden Brown's "Somnambulism" from 1805. Washington Irving wrote mysterious tales including "Rip van Winkle" (1819) and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" (1820). Nathaniel Hawthorne published the first part of his Twice-Told Tales in 1837. Edgar Allan Poe wrote his tales of mystery and imagination between 1832 and 1849. Classic stories are "The Fall of the House of Usher", "The Tell-Tale Heart", "The Cask of Amontillado", "The Pit and the Pendulum", and the first detective story, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue". In "The Philosophy of Composition" (1846) Poe argued that a literary work should be short enough for a reader to finish in one sitting.[19]

In Germany, the first collection of short stories was by Heinrich von Kleist in 1810 and 1811. The Brothers Grimm published their first volume of collected fairy tales in 1812. E.T.A. Hoffmann followed with his own original fantasy tales, of which "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" (1816) is the most famous.

In France, Prosper Mérimée wrote Mateo Falcone in 1829.

1850–1900

In the latter half of the 19th century, the growth of print magazines and journals created a strong demand for short fiction of between 3,000 and 15,000 words.

In the United Kingdom, Thomas Hardy wrote dozens of short stories, including "The Three Strangers" (1883), "A Mere Interlude" (1885) and "Barbara of the House of Grebe" (1890). Rudyard Kipling published short story collections for grown-ups, e.g. Plain Tales from the Hills (1888), as well as for children, e.g. The Jungle Book (1894). In 1892 Arthur Conan Doyle brought the detective story to a new height with The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. H.G. Wells wrote his first science fiction stories in the 1880s. One of his best known is "The Country of the Blind" (1904).

In the United States, Herman Melville published his story collection The Piazza Tales in 1856. "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" was the title story of Mark Twain's first book one year later. In 1884, Brander Matthews, the first American professor of dramatic literature, published The Philosophy of the Short-Story. At that same year, Matthews was the first one to name the emerging genre "short story". Another theorist of narrative fiction was Henry James. James wrote a lot of short stories himself, including "The Real Thing" (1892), "Maud-Evelyn" and The Beast in the Jungle (1903). In the 1890s Kate Chopin published short stories in several magazines.

The most prolific French author of short stories was Guy de Maupassant. Stories like "Boule de Suif" ("Ball of Fat", 1880) and "L'Inutile Beauté" ("The Useless Beauty", 1890) are good examples of French realism.

In Russia, Ivan Turgenev gained recognition with his story collection A Sportsman's Sketches. Nikolai Leskov created his first short stories in the 1860s. Late in his life Fyodor Dostoyevski wrote "The Meek One" (1876) and "The Dream of a Ridiculous Man" (1877), two stories with great psychological and philosophical depth. Leo Tolstoy handled ethical questions in his short stories, for example in "Ivan the Fool" (1885), "How Much Land Does a Man Need?" (1886) and "Alyosha the Pot" (1905). The greatest specialist of the Russian short story, however, was Anton Chekhov. Classic examples of his realistic prose are "The Bet" (1889), "Ward No. 6" (1892), and "The Lady with the Dog" (1899). Maxim Gorky's best known short story is "Twenty-six Men and a Girl" (1899).

The prolific Indian author of short stories Munshi Premchand, pioneered the genre in the Hindustani language, writing a substantial body of short stories and novels in a style characterized by realism and an unsentimental and authentic introspection into the complexities of Indian society. Premchand's work, including his over 200 short stories (such as the story "Lottery") and his novel Godaan remain substantial works.

A master of the short story, the Urdu language writer Saadat Hasan Manto, is revered for his exceptional depth, irony and sardonic humour. The author of some 250 short stories, radio plays, essays, reminiscences and a novel, Manto is widely admired for his analyses of violence, bigotry, prejudice and the relationships between reason and unreason. Combining realism with surrealism and irony, Manto's works such as the celebrated short story Toba Tek Singh are aesthetic masterpieces which continue to give profound insight into the nature of human loss, violence and devastation.

In India, Rabindranath Tagore published short stories, on the lives of the poor and oppressed such as peasants, women and villagers under colonial misrule and exploitation.

In Poland, Bolesław Prus was the most important author of short stories. In 1888 he wrote "A Legend of Old Egypt".

The Brazilian novelist Machado de Assis was the most important short story writer from his country at the time, under influences (among others) of Xavier de Maistre, Lawrence Sterne, Guy de Maupassant. In the end of the 19th century the writer João do Rio became popular by short stories about the bohemianism. Writing about the former slaves, and very ironical about nationalism, Lima Barreto died almost forgotten, but became very popular in the 20th century.

In Portuguese literature, the major names of the time are Almeida Garrett and the historian and novelist Alexandre Herculano. Still influential, Eça de Queiroz produced some short stories with a style influenced by Émile Zola, Balzac and Dickens.

1900–1945

In the United Kingdom, periodicals like The Strand Magazine and Story-Teller contributed to the popularity of the short story. Hector Hugh Munro (1870–1916), also known by his pen name of Saki, wrote satirical short stories about Edwardian England. W. Somerset Maugham, who wrote over a hundred short stories, was one of the most popular authors of his time. P.G. Wodehouse published his first collection of comical stories about valet Jeeves in 1917. Many detective stories were written by G.K. Chesterton, Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers. Short stories by Virginia Woolf are "Kew Gardens" (1919) and "Solid Objects," about a politician with mental problems. Graham Greene wrote his Twenty-One Stories between 1929 and 1954. A specialist of the short story was V.S. Pritchett, whose first collection appeared in 1932. Arthur C. Clarke published his first science fiction story, "Travel by Wire!" in 1937. Evelyn Waugh, Muriel Spark and L.P. Hartley were other popular British storytellers whose career started in this period.

In Ireland, James Joyce published his short story collection Dubliners in 1914. These stories, written in a more accessible style than his later novels, are based on careful observation of the inhabitants of his birth city.

In the first half of the 20th century, a number of high-profile American magazines such as The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's Magazine, The New Yorker, Scribner's, The Saturday Evening Post, Esquire, and The Bookman published short stories in each issue. The demand for quality short stories was so great and the money paid for such so well that F. Scott Fitzgerald repeatedly turned to short-story (as Matthews preferred to write it) writing to pay his numerous debts. His first collection Flappers and Philosophers appeared in book form in 1920. William Faulkner wrote over one hundred short stories. Go Down, Moses, a collection of seven stories, appeared in 1941. Ernest Hemingway's concise writing style was perfectly fit for shorter fiction. Stories like "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" (1926), "Hills Like White Elephants" (1927) and "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" (1936) are only a few pages long, but carefully crafted. Dorothy Parker's bittersweet story "Big Blonde" debuted in 1929. A popular science fiction story is "Nightfall" by Isaac Asimov.

Katherine Mansfield from New Zealand wrote many short stories between 1912 and her death in 1923. "The Doll's House" (1922) treats the topic of social inequity.

Two important authors of short stories in the German language were Thomas Mann and Franz Kafka. In 1922 the latter wrote "A Hunger Artist", about a man who fasts for several days.

Ryūnosuke Akutagawa (1892–1927) is called the Father of the Japanese short story.

In Brazil, the most famous modern short story writer is Mário de Andrade. At the time, Paulistan writer António de Alcantâra Machado became very popular from his collection of short stories titled, Brás, Bexiga e Barra Funda (1928), about several Italian neighborhoods, but now he is mostly read in just São Paulo. Also, novelist Graciliano Ramos and poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade have significant short story works.

Portuguese writers like Mário de Sá-Carneiro, Florbela Espanca and Fernando Pessoa wrote well-known short stories, although their major genre was poetry.

1945 to modern day

The period following World War II saw a great flowering of literary short fiction in the United States. The New Yorker continued to publish the works of the form's leading mid-century practitioners, including Shirley Jackson, whose story, "The Lottery", published in 1948, elicited the strongest response in the magazine's history to that time. Other frequent contributors during the last 1940s included John Cheever, John Steinbeck, Jean Stafford, and Eudora Welty. J.D. Salinger's Nine Stories (1953) experimented with point of view and voice, while Flannery O'Connor's story "A Good Man is Hard to Find" (1955) reinvigorated the Southern Gothic style. Cultural and social identity played a considerable role in much of the short fiction of the 1960s. Philip Roth and Grace Paley cultivated distinctive Jewish-American voices. Tillie Olsen's "I Stand Here Ironing" (1961) adopted a consciously feminist perspective. James Baldwin's collection Going to Meet the Man (1965) told stories of African-American life. Frank O'Connor's The Lonely Voice, an exploration of the short story, appeared in 1963. Wallace Stegner's short stories are primarily set in the American West. Stephen King published many short stories in men's magazines in the 1960s and after. The 1970s saw the rise of the postmodern short story in the works of Donald Barthelme and John Barth. Traditionalists including John Updike and Joyce Carol Oates maintained significant influence on the form. Minimalism gained widespread influence in the 1980s, most notably in the work of Raymond Carver and Ann Beattie.

Canadian short story writers include Alice Munro, Mavis Gallant, and Lynn Coady.

In the United Kingdom, Daphne du Maurier wrote suspense stories like "The Birds" (1952) and "Don't Look Now" (1971). Roald Dahl was the master of the twist-in-the-tale. Short story collections like Lamb to the Slaughter (1953) and Kiss Kiss (1960) illustrate his dark humour.

In Italy, Italo Calvino published the short story collection Marcovaldo, about a poor man in a city, in 1963.

In Brazil, the short story became popular among female writers like Clarice Lispector, Lygia Fagundes Telles, Adélia Prado, who wrote about their society from a feminine viewpoint, although the genre has great male writers like Dalton Trevisan, Autran Dourado Moacyr Scliar and Carlos Heitor Cony too. Also, writing about poverty and the favelas, João Antonio became a well known writer. Other post-modern short fiction authors include writers Hilda Hilst and Caio Fernando Abreu. Detective literature was led by Rubem Fonseca. It is also necessary to mention João Guimarães Rosa, wrote short stories in the book Sagarana using a complex, experimental language based on tales of oral traditional.

Portuguese writers like Virgílo Ferreira, Fernando Goncalves Namora and Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen are among the most influential short story writers from 20th-century Portuguese language literature. Manuel da Silva Ramos is one of the most well-known names of postmodernism in the country. Nobel Prize-winner José Saramago published few short stories, but became popular from his novels.

The Angolan writer José Luandino Vieira is one of the most well-known writers from his country and has several short stories. José Eduardo Agualusa is also increasingly read in Portuguese-speaking countries.

Mozambican Mia Couto is a widely known writer of post modern prose, and he is read even in non-Portuguese speaking countries. Other Mozambican writers such as Suleiman Cassamo, Paulina Chiziane and Eduardo White are gaining popularity with Portuguese-speakers too.

The Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges is one of the most famous writers of short stories in the Spanish language. "The Library of Babel" (1941) and "The Aleph" (1945) handle difficult subjects like infinity. Two of the most representative writers of the Magical realism genre are also widely known Argentinian short story writers: Adolfo Bioy Casares and Julio Cortázar.

The Uruguayan writer Juan Carlos Onetti is known as one of the most important magical realist writer from Latin America.

In Colombia, the Nobel prize laureate author Gabriel Garcia Marquez is the main novelist and short story writer, known by his magical realist stories and his defense of the Communist Party in his country.

The Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa, also a Nobel prize winner, has significant short story works.

The Egyptian Nobel Prize-winner Naguib Mafouz is the most well-known author from his country, but has only a few short stories.

Japanese world-known short story writers include Kenzaburō Ōe (Nobel prize winner of 1994), Yukio Mishima and Haruki Murakami.

Multi-awarded Philippine writer Peter Solis Nery is one of the most famous writers of short stories in Hiligaynon language. His stories "Lirio" (1998), "Candido" (2007), "Donato Bugtot" (2011), and "Si Padre Olan kag ang Dios" (2013) are all gold prize winners at the Palanca Awards of Philippine Literature.

Characteristics

As a concentrated, concise form of narrative and descriptive prose fiction, the short story has been theorized through the traditional elements of dramatic structure: exposition (the introduction of setting, situation and main characters), complication (the event that introduces the conflict), rising action, crisis (the decisive moment for the protagonist and his commitment to a course of action), climax (the point of highest interest in terms of the conflict and the point with the most action) and resolution (the point when the conflict is resolved). Because of their length, short stories may or may not follow this pattern. For example, modern short stories only occasionally have an exposition, more typically beginning in the middle of the action (in medias res). As with longer stories, plots of short stories also have a climax, crisis, or turning point. However, the endings of many short stories are abrupt and open and may or may not have a moral or practical lesson. As with any art form, the exact characteristics of a short story will vary by creator.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Definition of SHORT STORY". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
  2. ^ Boyd, William. "A short history of the short story". Retrieved 2018-04-17.
  3. ^ Deirdre Fulton (2008-06-11). "Who reads short shorts?". thePhoneix.com. Archived from the original on 2009-08-21. Retrieved 2013-06-06. each of their (less-than-1000-word) stories
  4. ^ "Sales of short story collections surge | The Bookseller". www.thebookseller.com. Retrieved 2018-04-17.
  5. ^ Media Correspondent, Matthew Moore (2018). "Short story revival cuts novels down to size". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2018-03-21.
  6. ^ "Salon society: highbrow nights out – short stories with Pin Drop". Evening Standard. Retrieved 2018-04-17.
  7. ^ A Short Affair – anthology of original short fiction, illustrated by Royal Academy artists. 2018-07-12. ISBN 978-1-4711-4732-6.
  8. ^ a b Baker, Sam (2014-05-18). "The irresistible rise of the short story. Pin Drop Studio". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2018-03-21.
  9. ^ "Fuller wins annual Royal Academy & Pin Drop short story prize | The Bookseller". www.thebookseller.com. Retrieved 2018-04-17.
  10. ^ "The top short story competitions to enter – The Sunday Times Short Story Award & Pin Drop Short Story Award". shortstoryaward.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-04-17.
  11. ^ Munro (2013). "Telephone". Nobel Prize.
  12. ^ Poe, Edgar Allan (1984). Edgar Allan Poe: Essays and Reviews. Library of America. pp. 569–77.
  13. ^ Cuddon, J.A. (1999). The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory (3rd ed.). London: Penguin. p. 864.
  14. ^ Abrams, M.H. (1999). Glossary of Literary Terms (7th ed.). Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace. pp. 286–87. ISBN 0-15-505452-X.
  15. ^ "Complete Nebula Awards Rules Including the Ray Bradbury and Andre Norton Awards (Revised & Updated)". sfwa.org. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  16. ^ ""The Storyteller" Commentary by Leo Hall".
  17. ^ Short Story in Jacob E. Safra e.a., The New Encyclopædia Britannica, 15th edition, Micropaedia volume 10, Chicago, 1998.
  18. ^ Internet Book List: Book Information: Oxford Book of Gothic Tales.
  19. ^ "Poe's The Philosophy of Composition: a Study Guide". Cummingsstudyguides.net. Retrieved 2013-04-22.

Bibliography

  • Browns, Julie, ed. (1997). Ethnicity and the American Short Story. New York: Garland.
  • Goyet, Florence (2014). The Classic Short Story, 1870–1925: Theory of a Genre. Cambridge: Open Book Publishers.
  • Gelfant, Blanche; Lawrence Graver, eds. (2000). The Columbia Companion to the Twentieth-Century American Short Story. Columbia University Press.
  • Hart, James; Phillip Leininger, eds. (1995). Oxford Companion to American Literature. Oxford University Press.
  • Ibáñez, José R; José Francisco Fernández; Carmen M. Bretones, eds. (2007). , Contemporary Debates on the Short Story. Bern: Lang.
  • Iftekharrudin, Farhat; Joseph Boyden; Joseph Longo; Mary Rohrberger, eds. (2003). Postmodern Approaches to the Short Story. Westport, CN: Praeger.
  • Kennedy, Gerald J., ed. (2011). Modern American Short Story Sequences: Composite Fictions and Fictive Communities. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Lohafer, Susan (2003). Reading for Storyness: Preclosure Theory, Empirical Poetics, and Culture in the Short Story. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Magill, Frank, ed. (1997). Short Story Writers. Pasadena, California: Salem Press.
  • Patea, Viorica, ed. (2012). Short Story Theories: A Twenty-First-Century Perspective. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
  • Scofield, Martin, ed. (2006). The Cambridge Introduction to the American Short Story. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Watson, Noelle, ed. (1994). Reference Guide to Short Fiction. Detroit: St. James Press.
  • Winther, Per; Jakob Lothe; Hans H. Skei, eds. (2004). The Art of Brevity: Excursions in Short Fiction Theory and Analysis. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press.

Still often cited

  • Eikhenbaum, Boris, "How Gogol's 'Overcoat' is Made" in Elizabeth Trahan (ed.) (1982). Gogol's "Overcoat" : An Anthology of Critical Essays,. Ann Arbor, MI: Ardis.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  • Hanson, Clare (1985). Short Stories and Short Fictions, 1880–1980. New York: St. Martin's Press.
  • LoCicero, Donald (1970). Novellentheorie: The Practicality of the Theoretical. (About the German theories of the Short Story) The Hague: Mouton.
  • Lohafer, Susan; Jo Ellyn Clarey, eds. (1990). Short Story Theory at a Crossroads. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press.
  • Mann, Susan Garland (1989). The Short Story Cycle: A Genre Companion and Reference Guide. New York: Greenwood Press.
  • O'Connor, Frank (1963). The Lonely Voice: A Study of the Short Story. Cleveland, OH: World Publishing Company.
  • O'Faoláin, Seán (1951). The short story. Cork: Mercier, 1948; New York: Devin-Adair.
  • Rohrberger, Mary (1966). Hawthorne and the Modern Short Story: A Study in Genre. The Hague: Mouton.

External links

Agatha Christie

Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, Lady Mallowan, (née Miller; 15 September 1890 – 12 January 1976) was an English writer. She is known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections, particularly those revolving around her fictional detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. Christie also wrote the world's longest-running play, a murder mystery, The Mousetrap, and, under the pen name Mary Westmacott, six romances. In 1971 she was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for her contribution to literature.Christie was born into a wealthy upper-middle-class family in Torquay, Devon. Before marrying and starting a family in London, she had served in a Devon hospital during the First World War, tending to troops coming back from the trenches. She was initially an unsuccessful writer with six consecutive rejections, but this changed when The Mysterious Affair at Styles, featuring Hercule Poirot, was published in 1920. During the Second World War, she worked as a pharmacy assistant at University College Hospital, London, acquiring a good knowledge of poisons which feature in many of her novels.

Guinness World Records lists Christie as the best-selling novelist of all time. Her novels have sold roughly 2 billion copies, and her estate claims that her works come third in the rankings of the world's most-widely published books, behind only Shakespeare's works and the Bible. According to Index Translationum, she remains the most-translated individual author, having been translated into at least 103 languages. And Then There Were None is Christie's best-selling novel, with 100 million sales to date, making it the world's best-selling mystery ever, and one of the best-selling books of all time. Christie's stage play The Mousetrap holds the world record for longest initial run. It opened at the Ambassadors Theatre in the West End on 25 November 1952, and as of September 2018 is still running after more than 27,000 performances.In 1955, Christie was the first recipient of the Mystery Writers of America's highest honour, the Grand Master Award. Later the same year, Witness for the Prosecution received an Edgar Award by the MWA for Best Play.

In 2013, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was voted the best crime novel ever by 600 fellow writers of the Crime Writers' Association. On 15 September 2015, coinciding with her 125th birthday, And Then There Were None was named the "World's Favourite Christie" in a vote sponsored by the author's estate. Most of her books and short stories have been adapted for television, radio, video games and comics, and more than thirty feature films have been based on her work.

Aldous Huxley

Aldous Leonard Huxley (26 July 1894 – 22 November 1963) was an English writer and philosopher. A prominent member of the Huxley family, he was the author of nearly fifty books, producing novels such as Brave New World (1931), set in a dystopian future; non-fiction works such as The Doors of Perception (1954), interpreting his psychedelic experience with mescaline; and wide-ranging essays of social and literary criticism.

Huxley graduated from Balliol College, Oxford with an undergraduate degree in English literature. Early in his career, he published short stories and poetry and edited the literary magazine Oxford Poetry. He went on to publish travel writing, film stories, satire, and screenplays. He spent the latter part of his life in the United States, living in Los Angeles from 1937 until his death.Huxley was a humanist and pacifist. He became interested in spiritual subjects such as parapsychology and philosophical mysticism, and in particular universalism. By the end of his life, Huxley was widely acknowledged as one of the pre-eminent intellectuals of his time. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature seven times. In 1962, a year before he died, Huxley was elected Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature.

Alexander Pushkin

Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin (English: ; Russian: Александр Сергеевич Пушкин, tr. Aleksándr Sergéyevich Púshkin, IPA: [ɐlʲɪˈksandr sʲɪrˈɡʲe(j)ɪvʲɪtɕ ˈpuʂkʲɪn] (listen); 6 June [O.S. 26 May] 1799 – 10 February [O.S. 29 January] 1837) was a Russian poet, playwright, and novelist of the Romantic era who is considered by many to be the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature.Pushkin was born into Russian nobility in Moscow. His father, Sergey Lvovich Pushkin, belonged to Pushkin noble families. His matrilineal great-grandfather was Abram Petrovich Gannibal. He published his first poem at the age of 15, and was widely recognized by the literary establishment by the time of his graduation from the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum. Upon graduation from the Lycee, Pushkin recited his controversial poem "Ode to Liberty", one of several that led to his being exiled by Tsar Alexander the First. While under the strict surveillance of the Tsar's political police and unable to publish, Pushkin wrote his most famous play, the drama Boris Godunov. His novel in verse, Eugene Onegin, was serialized between 1825 and 1832.

Pushkin was fatally wounded in a duel with his brother-in-law, Georges-Charles de Heeckeren d'Anthès, also known as Dantes-Gekkern, a French officer serving with the Chevalier Guard Regiment, who attempted to seduce the poet's wife, Natalia Pushkina.

Anton Chekhov

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (Russian: Антон Павлович Чехов, tr. Antón Pávlovič Čéhov, IPA: [ɐnˈton ˈpavɫəvʲɪtɕ ˈtɕɛxəf]; 29 January 1860 – 15 July 1904) was a Russian playwright and short-story writer, who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short fiction in history. His career as a playwright produced four classics, and his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics. Along with Henrik Ibsen and August Strindberg, Chekhov is often referred to as one of the three seminal figures in the birth of early modernism in the theatre. Chekhov practiced as a medical doctor throughout most of his literary career: "Medicine is my lawful wife", he once said, "and literature is my mistress."Chekhov renounced the theatre after the reception of The Seagull in 1896, but the play was revived to acclaim in 1898 by Konstantin Stanislavski's Moscow Art Theatre, which subsequently also produced Chekhov's Uncle Vanya and premiered his last two plays, Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard. These four works present a challenge to the acting ensemble as well as to audiences, because in place of conventional action Chekhov offers a "theatre of mood" and a "submerged life in the text".Chekhov had at first written stories to earn money, but as his artistic ambition grew, he made formal innovations which have influenced the evolution of the modern short story. He made no apologies for the difficulties this posed to readers, insisting that the role of an artist was to ask questions, not to answer them.

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) was an American journalist, novelist, and short-story writer. His economical and understated style—which he termed the iceberg theory—had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his adventurous lifestyle and his public image brought him admiration from later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short-story collections, and two non-fiction works. Three of his novels, four short story collections, and three non-fiction works were published posthumously. Many of his works are considered classics of American literature.

Hemingway was raised in Oak Park, Illinois. After high school, he reported for a few months for The Kansas City Star before leaving for the Italian Front to enlist as an ambulance driver in World War I. In 1918, he was seriously wounded and returned home. His wartime experiences formed the basis for his novel A Farewell to Arms (1929).

In 1921, he married Hadley Richardson, the first of what would be four wives. The couple moved to Paris, where he worked as a foreign correspondent and fell under the influence of the modernist writers and artists of the 1920s "Lost Generation" expatriate community. His debut novel, The Sun Also Rises, was published in 1926. After his 1927 divorce from Richardson, Hemingway married Pauline Pfeiffer; they divorced after he returned from the Spanish Civil War, where he had been a journalist. He based For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940) on his experience there. Martha Gellhorn became his third wife in 1940; they separated after he met Mary Welsh in London during World War II. He was present at the Normandy landings and the liberation of Paris.

Shortly after the publication of The Old Man and the Sea (1952), Hemingway went on safari to Africa, where he was almost killed in two successive plane crashes that left him in pain or ill-health for much of the rest of his life. Hemingway maintained permanent residences in Key West, Florida (in the 1930s) and Cuba (in the 1940s and 1950s). In 1959, he bought a house in Ketchum, Idaho, where, in mid-1961, he shot himself in the head.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896 – December 21, 1940) was an American fiction writer, whose works helped to illustrate the flamboyance and excess of the Jazz Age. While he achieved popular success, fame, and fortune in his lifetime, he did not receive much critical acclaim until after his death. Perhaps the most notable member of the "Lost Generation" of the 1920s, Fitzgerald is now widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. He finished four novels: This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby, and Tender Is the Night. A fifth, unfinished novel, The Last Tycoon, was published posthumously. Four collections of his short stories were published, as well as 164 short stories in magazines during his lifetime.

Flowers for Algernon

Flowers for Algernon is a science fiction short story and subsequent novel written by Daniel Keyes. The short story, written in 1958 and first published in the April 1959 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story in 1960. The novel was published in 1966 and was joint winner of that year's Nebula Award for Best Novel (with Babel-17).Algernon is a laboratory mouse who has undergone surgery to increase his intelligence. The story is told by a series of progress reports written by Charlie Gordon, the first human subject for the surgery and it touches on ethical and moral themes such as the treatment of the mentally disabled.Although the book has often been challenged for removal from libraries in the United States and Canada, sometimes successfully, it is frequently taught in schools around the world and has been adapted many times for television, theatre, radio and as the Academy Award-winning film Charly.

George R. R. Martin

George Raymond Richard Martin (born George Raymond Martin; September 20, 1948), also known as GRRM, is an American novelist and short story writer in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres, screenwriter, and television producer. He is best known for his series of epic fantasy novels, A Song of Ice and Fire, which was adapted into the HBO series Game of Thrones (2011–present).

In 2005, Lev Grossman of Time called Martin "the American Tolkien", and in 2011, he was included on the annual Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world.

H. G. Wells

Herbert George Wells (21 September 1866 – 13 August 1946) was an English writer. He was prolific in many genres, writing dozens of novels, short stories, and works of social commentary, satire, biography, and autobiography, and even including two books on recreational war games. He is now best remembered for his science fiction novels and is often called a "father of science fiction", along with Jules Verne and Hugo Gernsback.During his own lifetime, however, he was most prominent as a forward-looking, even prophetic social critic who devoted his literary talents to the development of a progressive vision on a global scale. A futurist, he wrote a number of utopian works and foresaw the advent of aircraft, tanks, space travel, nuclear weapons, satellite television and something resembling the World Wide Web. His science fiction imagined time travel, alien invasion, invisibility, and biological engineering. Brian Aldiss referred to Wells as the "Shakespeare of science fiction". His most notable science fiction works include The Time Machine (1895), The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), The War of the Worlds (1898) and the military science fiction The War in the Air (1907). Wells was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature four times.Wells's earliest specialised training was in biology, and his thinking on ethical matters took place in a specifically and fundamentally Darwinian context. He was also from an early date an outspoken socialist, often (but not always, as at the beginning of the First World War) sympathising with pacifist views. His later works became increasingly political and didactic, and he wrote little science fiction, while he sometimes indicated on official documents that his profession was that of journalist. Novels such as Kipps and The History of Mr Polly, which describe lower-middle-class life, led to the suggestion that he was a worthy successor to Charles Dickens, but Wells described a range of social strata and even attempted, in Tono-Bungay (1909), a diagnosis of English society as a whole. A diabetic, Wells co-founded the charity The Diabetic Association (known today as Diabetes UK) in 1934.

Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov (; c. January 2, 1920 – April 6, 1992) was an American writer and professor of biochemistry at Boston University. He was known for his works of science fiction and popular science. Asimov was a prolific writer who wrote or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. His books have been published in 9 of the 10 major categories of the Dewey Decimal Classification.Asimov wrote hard science fiction. Along with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, Asimov was considered one of the "Big Three" science fiction writers during his lifetime. Asimov's most famous work is the "Foundation" series; his other major series are the "Galactic Empire" series and the Robot series. The Galactic Empire novels are set in earlier history of the same fictional universe as the Foundation series. Later, with Foundation and Earth (1986), he linked this distant future to the Robot stories, creating a unified "future history" for his stories much like those pioneered by Robert A. Heinlein and previously produced by Cordwainer Smith and Poul Anderson. He wrote hundreds of short stories, including the social science fiction novelette "Nightfall"; in 1964, it was voted the best short science fiction story of all time by the Science Fiction Writers of America. Asimov wrote the Lucky Starr series of juvenile science-fiction novels using the pen name Paul French.Asimov also wrote mysteries and fantasy, as well as much nonfiction. Most of his popular science books explain concepts in a historical way, going as far back as possible to a time when the science in question was at its simplest stage. Examples include Guide to Science, the three-volume set Understanding Physics, and Asimov's Chronology of Science and Discovery. He wrote on numerous other scientific and non-scientific topics, such as chemistry, astronomy, mathematics, history, biblical exegesis, and literary criticism.

He was president of the American Humanist Association. The asteroid 5020 Asimov, a crater on the planet Mars, a Brooklyn elementary school, and a literary award are named in his honor.

List of women writers

This is a list of notable women writers.

Literature

Literature, most generically, is any body of written works. More restrictively, literature refers to writing considered to be an art form or any single writing deemed to have artistic or intellectual value, often due to deploying language in ways that differ from ordinary usage.

Its Latin root literatura/litteratura (derived itself from littera: letter or handwriting) was used to refer to all written accounts. The concept has changed meaning over time to include texts that are spoken or sung (oral literature), and non-written verbal art forms. Developments in print technology have allowed an ever-growing distribution and proliferation of written works, culminating in electronic literature.

Literature is classified according to whether it is fiction or non-fiction, and whether it is poetry or prose. It can be further distinguished according to major forms such as the novel, short story or drama; and works are often categorized according to historical periods or their adherence to certain aesthetic features or expectations (genre).

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou ( (listen); born Marguerite Annie Johnson; April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014) was an American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees. Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her life up to the age of 17 and brought her international recognition and acclaim.

She became a poet and writer after a series of occupations as a young adult, including fry cook, sex worker, nightclub dancer and performer, cast member of the opera Porgy and Bess, coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and journalist in Egypt and Ghana during the decolonization of Africa. She was an actress, writer, director, and producer of plays, movies, and public television programs. In 1982, she was named the first Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She was active in the Civil Rights Movement and worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Beginning in the 1990s, she made around 80 appearances a year on the lecture circuit, something she continued into her eighties. In 1993, Angelou recited her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" (1993) at the first inauguration of Bill Clinton, making her the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost at the inauguration of John F. Kennedy in 1961.

With the publication of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou publicly discussed aspects of her personal life. She was respected as a spokesperson for black people and women, and her works have been considered a defense of black culture. Her works are widely used in schools and universities worldwide, although attempts have been made to ban her books from some U.S. libraries. Angelou's most celebrated works have been labeled as autobiographical fiction, but many critics consider them to be autobiographies. She made a deliberate attempt to challenge the common structure of the autobiography by critiquing, changing and expanding the genre. Her books center on themes such as racism, identity, family and travel.

Novella

A novella is a text of written, fictional, narrative prose normally longer than a short story but shorter than a novel, somewhere between 17,500 and 40,000 words.

The English word "novella" derives from the Italian novella, feminine of novello, which means "new". The novella is a common literary genre in several European languages.

Philip K. Dick

Philip Kindred Dick (December 16, 1928 – March 2, 1982) was an American writer known for his work in science fiction. His work explored philosophical, social, and political themes, with stories dominated by monopolistic corporations, alternative universes, authoritarian governments, and altered states of consciousness. His writing also reflected his interest in metaphysics and theology, and often drew upon his life experiences in addressing the nature of reality, identity, drug abuse, schizophrenia, and transcendental experiences.

Born in Illinois, he eventually moved to California and began publishing science fiction stories in the 1950s. His stories initially found little commercial success. His 1962 alternative history novel The Man in the High Castle earned Dick early acclaim, including a Hugo Award for Best Novel. He followed with science fiction novels such as Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) and Ubik (1969). His 1974 novel Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel. Following a series of religious experiences in February 1974, Dick's work engaged more explicitly with issues of theology, philosophy, and the nature of reality, as in such novels as A Scanner Darkly (1977) and VALIS (1981). A collection of his non-fiction writing on these themes was published posthumously as The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick (2011). He died in 1982, at age 53, due to complications from a stroke.

Dick's writing produced 44 published novels and approximately 121 short stories, most of which appeared in science fiction magazines during his lifetime.A variety of popular films based on Dick's works have been produced, including Blade Runner (1982), Total Recall (adapted twice: in 1990 and in 2012), Minority Report (2002), A Scanner Darkly (2006), The Adjustment Bureau (2011), and Blade Runner 2049 (2017).

In 2005, Time named Ubik one of the hundred greatest English-language novels published since 1923. In 2007, Dick became the first science fiction writer to be included in The Library of America series.

Ray Bradbury

Ray Douglas Bradbury (; August 22, 1920 – June 5, 2012) was an American author and screenwriter. He worked in a variety of genres, including fantasy, science fiction, horror, and mystery fiction.

Widely known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953), and his science-fiction and horror-story collections, The Martian Chronicles (1950), The Illustrated Man (1951), and I Sing the Body Electric (1969), Bradbury was one of the most celebrated 20th- and 21st-century American writers. While most of his best known work is in speculative fiction, he also wrote in other genres, such as the coming-of-age novel Dandelion Wine (1957) and the fictionalized memoir Green Shadows, White Whale (1992).

Recipient of numerous awards, including a 2007 Pulitzer Citation, Bradbury also wrote and consulted on screenplays and television scripts, including Moby Dick and It Came from Outer Space. Many of his works were adapted to comic book, television, and film formats.

Upon his death in 2012, The New York Times called Bradbury "the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream".

Stephen King

Stephen Edwin King (born September 21, 1947) is an American author of horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy. His books have sold more than 350 million copies, many of which have been adapted into feature films, miniseries, television series, and comic books. King has published 58 novels (including seven under the pen name Richard Bachman) and six non-fiction books. He has written approximately 200 short stories, most of which have been published in book collections.

King has received Bram Stoker Awards, World Fantasy Awards, and British Fantasy Society Awards. In 2003, the National Book Foundation awarded him the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He has also received awards for his contribution to literature for his entire oeuvre, such as the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement (2004), and the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America (2007). In 2015, King was awarded with a National Medal of Arts from the United States National Endowment for the Arts for his contributions to literature. He has been described as the "King of Horror".

The Jungle Book

The Jungle Book (1894) is a collection of stories by the English author Rudyard Kipling. Most of the characters are animals such as Shere Khan the tiger and Baloo the bear, though a principal character is the boy or "man-cub" Mowgli, who is raised in the jungle by wolves. The stories are set in a forest in India; one place mentioned repeatedly is "Seonee" (Seoni), in the central

state of Madhya Pradesh.

A major theme in the book is abandonment followed by fostering, as in the life of Mowgli, echoing Kipling's own childhood. The theme is echoed in the triumph of protagonists including Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and The White Seal over their enemies, as well as Mowgli's. Another important theme is of law and freedom; the stories are not about animal behaviour, still less about the Darwinian struggle for survival, but about human archetypes in animal form. They teach respect for authority, obedience, and knowing one's place in society with "the law of the jungle", but the stories also illustrate the freedom to move between different worlds, such as when Mowgli moves between the jungle and the village. Critics have also noted the essential wildness and lawless energies in the stories, reflecting the irresponsible side of human nature.

The Jungle Book has remained popular, partly through its many adaptations for film and other media. Critics such as Swati Singh have noted that even critics wary of Kipling for his supposed imperialism have admired the power of his storytelling. The book has been influential in the scout movement, whose founder, Robert Baden-Powell, was a friend of Kipling's. Percy Grainger composed his Jungle Book Cycle around quotations from the book.

Thomas Mann

Paul Thomas Mann (German: [paʊ̯l toːmas man]; 6 June 1875 – 12 August 1955) was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate. His highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas are noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual. His analysis and critique of the European and German soul used modernized versions of German and Biblical stories, as well as the ideas of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Nietzsche and Arthur Schopenhauer.

Mann was a member of the Hanseatic Mann family and portrayed his family and class in his first novel, Buddenbrooks. His older brother was the radical writer Heinrich Mann and three of Mann's six children, Erika Mann, Klaus Mann and Golo Mann, also became significant German writers. When Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, Mann fled to Switzerland. When World War II broke out in 1939, he moved to the United States, then returned to Switzerland in 1952. Mann is one of the best-known exponents of the so-called Exilliteratur, German literature written in exile by those who opposed the Hitler regime.

Mann's work influenced many later authors, including Heinrich Böll, Joseph Heller, Yukio Mishima, and Orhan Pamuk.

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