Monday, October 4, 2010

hurry, hurry, hurry!

Scariest Films Ever are coming. Soon. But for now:

The Oxford Book of American Short Stories, edited by Joyce Carol Oates.

I'm making this short.

If you are at all curious about short stories and don't know where to start, start here. The Heath Anthology is also very good, but it's extremely long and quite heavy. This book is the perfect size and in it dwells the perfect collection of short stories. I don't think there was one included that I didn't like. . .

We are talking about Washington Irving, William Austin, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Edgar Allen Poe, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Samuel Clemens, Sarah Orne Jewett, Kate Chopin, Charles Chestnut, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Henry James, Jack London, Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, Stephen Crane, Edith Wharton, Sherwood Anderson, Willa Cather, Jean Toomer, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Carlos Williams, Katherine Anne Porter, William Faulkner, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Paul Bowles, Flannery O'Connor, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, Ray Bradbury, Peter Taylor, Eudora Welty, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Bernard Malamud, Saul Bellows, John Cheever, Ursula K. Le Guin, Donald Barthelme, John Updike, Alice Adams, Raymond Carver, Leslie Marmon Silko, Cynthia Ozick, Joyce Carol Oates, Tobias Wolff, Tim O'Brien, Bobbie Ann Mason, John Edgar Wideman, Bharati Mukherjee, Amy Tan, Louise Erdrich, David Leavitt, Sandra Cisneros, and Pinckney Benedict.

Quite a guest list.

And while my personal favorites were the stories with just a hint of fantastic or madness ("Cannibalism in the Car" by Clemens, "A Late Encounter With the Enemy" by O'Connor, "There Will Come Soft Rains" by Bradbury, or "Fleur" by Erdrich) each story in this collection packs a punch or makes it count, if you will.

I want more.


Donald said...

This sounds like a good collection of authors, but now I'm going to ask you to do some homework. What were the stories by the following authors:

Melville, Poe, Jack London, Hemingway, Cheever, Bartheleme, and Carver?

Donald said...

Also, if you want to read some really good short fiction, you should check the book nook for a book I brought in by Reynolds Price. I'll check to see if it's still there next time I come in. If it's not, check your local library. He's a great, down home, southern author whose prose is amazing.

Anna said...

Melville-The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids. Poe--The Tell-Tale Heart. London--In a Far Country. Hemingway--A Clean, Well-Lighted Place. Cheever--The Death of Justina. Bartheleme--The School. and Carver--Are These Actual Miles.

Donald said...

Hmmm. I've never heard of either of those Melville stories. Then again, I've never read any short fiction of Melvilles, Just his novels and novellas, but they have all been amazing.

Tell Tale Heart is a classic, but Cask of Amontillado is my favorite. Not just by poe, but my favorite story ever probably.