books, Themed Book Recommendations

Themed Book Recommendations: Short Stories

The Ones Who Walk Away from OmelasThe Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas

Some inhabitants of a peaceful kingdom cannot tolerate the act of cruelty that underlies its happiness.
The story “Omelas” was first published in New Dimensions 3, a hard-cover science fiction anthology edited by Robert Silverberg, in October 1973, and the following year it won Le Guin the prestigious Hugo Award for best short story.
It was subsequently printed in her short story collection The Wind’s Twelve Quarters in 1975.

The Lottery

Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is a memorable and terrifying masterpiece, fueled by a tension that creeps up on you slowly without any clear indication of why. This is just a townful of people, after all, choosing their numbers for the annual lottery. What’s there to be scared of?

The Yellow Wall-Paper

The Yellow Wall-Paper

‘It is stripped off – the paper – in great patches . . . The colour is repellent . . . In the places where it isn’t faded and where the sun is just so – I can see a strange, provoking, formless sort of figure, that seems to skulk about . . .’

Based on the author’s own experiences, ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ is the chilling tale of a woman driven to the brink of insanity by the ‘rest cure’ prescribed after the birth of her child. Isolated in a crumbling colonial mansion, in a room with bars on the windows, the tortuous pattern of the yellow wallpaper winds its way into the recesses of her mind.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman was America’s leading feminist intellectual of the early twentieth century. In addition to her masterpiece ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’, this new edition includes a selection of her best short fiction and extracts from her autobiography.

3088548Desiree’s Baby

Kate Chopin was an American author of short stories and novels, mostly with a Louisiana Creole background. Today she is considered a forerunner of the feminist authors of the 20th century. This powerful little story concerns a Southern gentleman who disowns his wife because he fears she has “negro” blood. The truth makes for a dramatic ending.

The Most Dangerous Game

 

The Most Dangerous Game features a big-game hunter from New York who becomes shipwrecked on an isolated island in the Caribbean and is hunted by a Russian aristocrat.

A Good Man Is Hard To Find

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Good Man Is Hard to Find is Flannery O’Connor’s most famous and most discussed story. O’Connor herself singled it out by making it the title piece of her first collection and the story she most often chose for readings or talks to students. It is an unforgettable tale, both riveting and comic, of the confrontation of a family with violence and sudden death. More than anything else O’Connor ever wrote, this story mixes the comedy, violence, and religious concerns that characterize her fiction.

This casebook for the story includes an introduction by the editor, a chronology of the author’s life, the authoritative text of the story itself, comments and letters by O’Connor about the story, critical essays, and a bibliography. The critical essays span more than twenty years of commentary and suggest several approaches to the story–formalistic, thematic, deconstructionist– all within the grasp of the undergraduate, while the introduction also points interested students toward still other resources. Useful for both beginning and advanced students, this casebook provides an in-depth introduction to one of America’s most gifted modern writers.

Hills Like White Elephants

Hills Like White Elephants

A conversation in a Spanish cafe between a man and a woman that is not as simple as it seems.

Harrison Bergeron

 

 

 

 

 

Harrison Bergeron

It is the year 2081. Because of Amendments 211, 212, and 213 to the Constitution, every American is fully equal, meaning that no one is stupider, uglier, weaker, or slower than anyone else. The Handicapper General and a team of agents ensure that the laws of equality are enforced.

One April, fourteen-year-old Harrison Bergeron is taken away from his parents, George and Hazel, by the government.

We Can Get Them For You Wholesale

We Can Get Them For You Wholesale

Original Fiction, Short Story

Peter Pinter had never heard of Aristippus of the Cyrenaics, a lesser-known follower of Socrates who maintained that the avoidance of trouble was the highest attainable good; however…

Brokeback Mountain

 

Brokeback Mountain

Annie Proulx has written some of the most original and brilliant short stories in contemporary literature, and for many readers and reviewers, “Brokeback Mountain” is her masterpiece.

Ennis del Mar and Jack Twist, two ranch hands, come together when they’re working as sheepherder and camp tender one summer on a range above the tree line. At first, sharing an isolated tent, the attraction is casual, inevitable, but something deeper catches them that summer.

Both men work hard, marry, and have kids because that’s what cowboys do. But over the course of many years and frequent separations this relationship becomes the most important thing in their lives, and they do anything they can to preserve it.

The New Yorker won the National Magazine Award for Fiction for its publication of “Brokeback Mountain,” and the story was included in Prize Stories 1998: The O. Henry Awards. In gorgeous and haunting prose, Proulx limns the difficult, dangerous affair between two cowboys that survives everything but the world’s violent intolerance.

The Monkey's Paw

The Monkey’s Paw

When the White family comes into the possession of a monkey’s paw that magically grant wishes, they do what many people would do—they wish for money. But every wish has a consequence, and the White family finds they are completely unprepared for what comes next. The Monkey’s Paw is a classic horror tale that gives new meaning to the phrase “be careful what you wish for.”

The Monkey’s Paw has become a classic horror story and has been adapted numerous times, including into episodes of such popular television series as The X-Files, The Twilight Zone, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, and Tales from the Crypt.

HarperCollins brings great works of literature to life in digital format, upholding the highest standards in ebook production and celebrating reading in all its forms. Look for more titles in the HarperCollins short-stories collection to build your digital library.

The NecklaceThe Necklace

After devoting their energies and income for ten years to replacing a borrowed diamond necklace which they have lost, a woman and her husband learn the irony of their efforts.

Interpreter of Maladies

 

 

 

 

 

Interpreter of Maladies

Navigating between the Indian traditions they’ve inherited and the baffling new world, the characters in Jhumpa Lahiri’s elegant, touching stories seek love beyond the barriers of culture and generations. In “A Temporary Matter,” published in The New Yorker, a young Indian-American couple faces the heartbreak of a stillborn birth while their Boston neighborhood copes with a nightly blackout. In the title story, an interpreter guides an American family through the India of their ancestors and hears an astonishing confession. Lahiri writes with deft cultural insight reminiscent of Anita Desai and a nuanced depth that recalls Mavis Gallant.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

 

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Ichabod Crane, a schoolteacher, came to Tarry Town in the glen of Sleepy Hollow to ply his trade in educating young minds. He was a gullible and excitable fellow, often so terrified by locals’ stories of ghosts that he would hurry through the woods on his way home, singing to keep from hysterics. Until late one night, he finds that maybe they’re not just stories. What is that dark, menacing figure riding behind him on a horse? And what does it have in its hands? And why wasn’t schoolteacher Crane ever seen in Sleepy Hollow again?

The Landlady

 

The Landlady is a brilliant gem of a short story from Roald Dahl, the master of the sting in the tail.

In The Landlady, Roald Dahl, one of the world’s favourite authors, tells a sinister story about the darker side of human nature. Here, a young man in need of room meets a most accommodating landlady…

The Landlady is taken from the short story collection Kiss Kiss, which includes ten other devious and shocking stories, featuring the wife who pawns the mink coat from her lover with unexpected results; the priceless piece of furniture that is the subject of a deceitful bargain; a wronged woman taking revenge on her dead husband, and others.

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” is a frequently anthologized short story written by Joyce Carol Oates. The story first appeared in the Fall 1966 edition of Epoch magazine. It was inspired by three Tucson, Arizona murders committed by Charles Schmid, which were profiled in Life magazine in an article written by Don Moser on March 4, 1966.

A Rose for EmilyA Rose for Emily

Emily is a member of a family in the antebellum Southern aristocracy; after the Civil War, the family has fallen on hard times.

All Summer in a Day

 

All Summer In A Day

Margot is a nine-year-old girl whose family moved from Earth to Venus when she was four. She remembers the sun shining on Earth, something it rarely does on Venus. “All Summer in a Day” takes place on the one day when Venus’s rain will stop, and the sun will shine for a couple of hours only.

2 thoughts on “Themed Book Recommendations: Short Stories”

  1. The Yellow Wallpaper is such a haunting read! It stayed with me for a long time. I think a reread is on the cards! Great post. Definitely going to be checking some of these recommendations out 😍

    Liked by 1 person

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