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Category: Classic Short Stories

If you’re a fan of classic literature you’ll enjoy this section. Here we focus on some of the most famous short stories in history and the lesser known classics. If it’s good, we’ll share it.

Short Story Classics: Love Suicides, By Yasunari Kawabata

Palm-of-the-Hand Stories (掌の小説 tenohira / tanagokoro no shōsetsu) is the name Japanese author Yasunari Kawabata gave to more than 140 short stories he wrote over his long career, though he reputedly preferred the reading tanagokoro for the 掌 character. The earliest story was published in 1920 with the last appearing posthumously in 1972. The stories are characterized by their brevity – some are less than a page long – and by their dramatic concision.

Short Story Classics: The Story Of An Hour, By Kate Chopin

"The Story of an Hour," is a short story written by Kate Chopin on April 19, 1894. It was originally published in Vogue on December 6, 1894, as "The Dream of an Hour". It was later reprinted in St. Louis Life on January 5, 1895, as "The Story of an Hour". The title of the short story refers to the time elapsed between the moments at which the protagonist, Louise Mallard, hears that her husband is dead, and when she discovers that he is alive after all. "The Story of an Hour" was controversial by American standards of the 1890s because it features a female protagonist who feels liberated by the news of her husband's death. In Unveiling Kate Chopin, Emily Toth argues that Chopin "had to have her heroine die" in order to make the story publishable". (The "heroine" dies when she sees her husband alive after he was thought to be dead.

Short Story Classics: Harrison Bergeron, By Kurt Vonnegut

"Harrison Bergeron" is a satirical and dystopian science-fiction short story written by Kurt Vonnegut and first published in October 1961. Originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, the story was republished in the author's Welcome to the Monkey House collection in 1968.

Short Story Classics: The Mustache, By Guy De Mauspassant

Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant was a popular 19th-century French writer. He is one of the fathers of the modern short story. A protege of Flaubert, Maupassant's short stories are characterized by their economy of style and their efficient effortless dénouement. He also wrote six short novels. A number of his stories often denote the futility of war and the innocent civilians who get crushed in it - many are set during the Franco-Prussian War of the 1870s.

Short Story Classics: A Telephonic Conversation, By Mark Twain

In 1879, Mark Twain became a very early adopter of Alexander Graham Bell's new invention (in 1876) of the telephone, a big step beyond the telegraph because it made possible voice communication at a distance, ordinary talk via electric current over a wire. A new adventure for humanity. Being Mark Twain, he also was early and keenly aware of some cultural side effects and ironies of new technological developments. Twain's sketch "A Telephonic Conversation" recounts an overheard conversation in his home, perhaps partly fabricated or embellished but true to life. This sketch is so early in the history of the telephone that it's likely that the majority of Americans, even of readers of his sketch, had never yet heard a voice via a telephone

Short Story Classics: The Little Match Girl, By Hans Christian Andersen

The Little Match Girl, also titled, The Little Matchstick Girl is one of our Favorite Fairy Tales. Published by Hans Christian Andersen in 1845, it exemplifies his broad literary talent and ability. I personally like to read this story at least twice a year, once in Autumn as the holiday season comes into focus, and then again around the Christmas holiday. It's a gentle reminder of the value of compassion and charity. The Little Match Girl Study Guide is a resource for teachers and students.

Short Story Classics: The Open Window By Saki

Hector Hugh Munro (18 December 1870 – 14 November 1916), better known by the pen name Saki, and also frequently as H. H. Munro, was a British writer whose witty, mischievous and sometimes macabre stories satirize Edwardian society and culture. He is considered a master of the short story, and often compared to O. Henry and Dorothy Parker. Influenced by Oscar Wilde, Lewis Carroll and Rudyard Kipling, he himself influenced A. A. Milne, Noël Coward and P. G. Wodehouse.

Short Story Classics: The Magic Shop By H.G. Wells

The Magic Shop is a curious tale that follows a father and son’s experience of visiting a ‘genuine magic shop’. While the little boy explores the shop, seeing only joy and wonder, his father is confronted with much more sinister visions. Published in 1903

Short Story Classics: One Of These Days By Gabriel García Márquez

Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez was a Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist, known affectionately as Gabo or Gabito throughout Latin America. Considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century and one of the best in the Spanish language, he was awarded the 1972 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Short Story Classics: The Skylight Room By O. Henry

The Skylight Room is a short story by author William Sydney Porter under pen name O. Henry. The story is about a young woman, Miss Leeson, and her stay at one of Mrs. Parker's parlours. During her stay, Miss Leeson experiences hard times and is later rescued by a star. The story was published in The Four Million, a collection of short stories by O. Henry that was first published in 1906.

Short Story Classics: To Build A Fire, By Jack London

A classic Man versus Nature story set in the Yukon Territory in Northwestern Canada. "The dog did not know anything about thermometers" but it had the sense to know "that it was no time for travelling." A brilliant story to read in the depth of winter when a freezing spell is in the forecast or gripping your region.