21 essential American short stories

Book - 2011

This book is a collection of beloved stories that have comprised an important part of the fabric of our culture, from the earliest days of our nation to the twentieth century. Some of the stories, such as Washington Irving's "Rip Van Winkle," O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi," William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily," Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper," and James Thurber's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," have been long regarded as literary classics, while others, such as Frank Stockton's "The Lady or the Tiger?" and Ellis Parker Butler's "Pigs Is Pigs," are lesser known but well worth discovering. The carefully selected st...ories, each preceded by an illuminating headnote, powerfully illustrate the varied richness of our national literature and history.--From publisher description.

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2nd Floor 813.08/Twenty-One Checked In
New York, N.Y. : Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press 2011.
Other Authors
Leslie Pockell (-)
1st ed
Physical Description
xv, 300 p. ; 24 cm
  • Rip Van Winkle / by Washington Irving
  • The purloined letter / by Edgar Allan Poe
  • Bartleby the scrivener / by Herman Melville
  • The celebrated jumping frog of Calaveras County / by Mark Twain
  • An occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge / by Ambrose Bierce
  • The yellow wallpaper / by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • Brer Rabbit and the Tar-Baby / by Joel Chandler Harris
  • The blue hotel / by Stephen Crane
  • The lady or the tiger? / by Frank Stockton
  • Pigs is pigs / by Ellis Parker Butler
  • To build a fire / by Jack London
  • The bar sinister / by Richard Harding Davis
  • The gift of the Magi / by O. Henry
  • The diamond as big as the Ritz / by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The killers / by Ernest Hemingway
  • Leiningen versus the ants / by Carl Stephenson
  • The pomegranate seed / by Edith Wharton
  • The call of Cthulhu / by H.P. Lovecraft
  • The secret life of Walter Mitty / by James Thurber
  • A rose for Emily / by William Faulkner
  • The lottery / by Shirley Jackson.
Review by Booklist Review

No one would envy Leslie Pockell. If charged with selecting 21 short stories from the copious canon of American short fiction, anyone would cower. Fortunately, Pockell accepted the charge and has provided a thoughtful collection. Inevitably, such an effort requires selection, which means exclusions. Where are Flannery O'Connor and John Cheever? 21 Essential American Short Stories does not include a story originally published after 1948. Excluding a half-century of stories deprives the collection of completeness. Fortunately, Americans have been writing great stories for a long time, and Pockell has selected a cornucopia of classics, some well known and some lesser known. The collection is arranged chronologically and peppers humor (Ellis Parker Butler's Pigs Is Pigs, Ernest Hemingway's The Killers, and James Thurber's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty ) with sorrow (Herman Melville's Bartlelby the Scrivener, Ambrose Bierce's An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, and Stephen Crane's The Blue Hotel ). Twain, Gilman, and Fitzgerald provide further shape. Pockell made shrewd decisions and compiled a collection worthy of its place on the shelf.--Parsons, Blair Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.