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The New Penguin Book Of American Short Stories
About the book
  • Published: 31 October 2011
  • ISBN: 9780141194431
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 272

The New Penguin Book Of American Short Stories


Formats & editions


The last 50 years have proved a particularly lively period in the history of the short story form. This new collection gives a full picture of the richness and diversity of this most American of genres from its very beginnings to the present day. The collection offers a freshly stimulating combination of old favourites such as Mark Twain's 'Jim Smiley's Jumping Frog' and Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Tell-Tale Heart', unfamiliar works by well-known authors, such as Ernest Hemingway's 'Out of Season', Stephen Crane's 'An Episode of War' and F. Scott Fitzgerald's 'The Lost Decade' , and some remarkable stories by wonderful but less well known writers such as Mary Wilkins Freeman and Charles W. Chestnutt who deserve a wider audience. It's a compact book but it covers a lot of ground. There are 31 stories, covering 199 years (that is, the first story was published in 1807; the last is from 2006). The final three authors are Lorrie Moore, Jhumpa Lahiri and Lydia Davis.



Table of contents

Washington Irving - The Little Man in Black (1807)

Nathaniel Hawthorne - Young Goodman Brown (1835)

Edgar Allan Poe - The Tell-Tale Heart (1843)

Fanny Fern - Aunt Hetty on Matrimony (1851)

Mark Twain - Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog (1865)

Joel Chandler Harris - The Tar Baby Story (1880)

Mary Wilkins Freeman - Two Friends (1887)

Charles W. Chesnutt - The Wife of his Youth (1898)

Henry James - The Real Right Thing (1899)

Stephen Crane - An Episode of War (1899)

O. Henry - Hearts and Hands (1903)

Sherwood Anderson - The Untold Lie (1917)

Ernest HemingwayOut of Season (1923)

Edith Wharton - Atrophy (1927)

Dorothy Parker - New York to Detroit (1928)

Eudora Welty - The Whistle (1938)

William Faulkner - Barn Burning (1939)

F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Lost Decade (1939)

Zora Neale Hurston - Now You Cookin' with Gas (1942)

Bernard Malamud - The First Seven Years (1950)

Flannery O'Connor - A Late Encounter with the Enemy (1953)

John Updike - Sunday Teasing (1956)

John Cheever - Reunion (1962)

Grace Paley - Wants (1971)

Alice Walker - The Flowers (1973)

Donald Barthelme - I Bought a Little City (1974)

Raymond Carver - Collectors (1975)

Richard Ford - Communist (1985)

Lorrie Moore - Starving Again (1990)

Jhumpa Lahiri - The Third and Final Continent (1999)

Lydia Davis - The Caterpillar (2006)
%%%The last 50 years have proved a particularly lively period in the history of the short story form. This new collection gives a full picture of the richness and diversity of this most American of genres from its very beginnings to the present day. The collection offers a freshly stimulating combination of old favourites such as Mark Twain's 'Jim Smiley's Jumping Frog' and Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Tell-Tale Heart', unfamiliar works by well-known authors, such as Ernest Hemingway's 'Out of Season', Stephen Crane's 'An Episode of War' and F. Scott Fitzgerald's 'The Lost Decade' , and some remarkable stories by wonderful but less well known writers such as Mary Wilkins Freeman and Charles W. Chestnutt who deserve a wider audience. It's a compact book but it covers a lot of ground. There are 31 stories, covering 199 years (that is, the first story was published in 1807; the last is from 2006). The final three authors are Lorrie Moore, Jhumpa Lahiri and Lydia Davis.
Table of contents
Washington Irving - The Little Man in Black (1807)
Nathaniel Hawthorne - Young Goodman Brown (1835)
Edgar Allan Poe - The Tell-Tale Heart (1843)
Fanny Fern - Aunt Hetty on Matrimony (1851)
Mark Twain - Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog (1865)
Joel Chandler Harris - The Tar Baby Story (1880)
Mary Wilkins Freeman - Two Friends (1887)
Charles W. Chesnutt - The Wife of his Youth (1898)
Henry James - The Real Right Thing (1899

  • Pub date: 31 October 2011
  • ISBN: 9780141194431
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 272

About the Authors

Washington Irving

Washington Irving (1783 – 1859) was born into a rich New York family, the youngest of eleven children. He was named after the great future American President, George Washington. Young Washington's early education was patchy but he developed an early love for books and writing. As an adult he didn't have to worry about earning a living and after practising law for a few years he began to write for newspapers and magazines. His first book, Knickerbocker's History of New York (1809), was the first American humorous book which was also literature. It was a great success but Irving continued to be only a part-time writer.

In 1815 he moved to London to manage the British end of the family business and stayed for seventeen years. When the family business collapsed in 1817, He had to make a living for the first time. The immediate result was The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent which contained his two most famous fantasy stories, Rip van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. These classic stories have kept Washington Irving's name alive. He is often called 'the father of American literature' because of the charm and style of his writing and because he was always breaking new ground.


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