The Art of the Short Story: Stories and Authors in Historical Context

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The Art of the Short Story: Stories and Authors in Historical Context

Wendy Martin


Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH)

Format: Paperback

This historically arranged anthology of short fiction by top American and international writers provides a comprehensive collection of both the classic stories as well as the most effective, relevant, and engaging modern and contemporary short stories. Through four distinct historical units, the author looks at the development of the short story as a genre.The historical introductions and visual spreads that begin each unit help instructors and students place the stories they read in a broader context. In addition to delineating the history and future of the short story, the anthology provides a comprehensive collection of classical and traditional stories and demonstrates the liveliness, flexibility, and dynamic nature of the genre. This dual focus grounds students in the tradition of the short story genre and gives them an appreciation for its contemporary context. Unlike many introductions to short fiction, this anthology includes a strong representation of newer works by international and American writers. A wide range of selections—traditional and innovative—includes works by such diverse authors as Aesop, James Baldwin, Geoffrey Chaucer, Anton Chekhov, Sandra Cisneros, John Updike, Eudora Welty, and Tobias Wolff.Visual elements include graphic spreads that open each historical unit with art, photos, and relevant cultural objects.Thematic clusters—in the Nineteenth-Century, Modern, and Contemporary units—allow for a deeper exploration of historical themes through a combination of interrelated short stories and critical essays. The thematic clusters are “Domestic Fictions” (in the Nineteenth-Century unit), “The Harlem Renaissance” (in the Modern unit), and“Postcolonial Literature” (in the Contemporary unit).Part Two—Reading, Writing, Discussing—includes critical essays on stories in the anthology, as well as essays by and interviews with writers featured in the text.

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