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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
"The Lady, or the Tiger?" is a much-anthologized short story written by Frank R. Stockton for publication in the magazine The Century in 1882. "The Lady, or the Tiger?" has entered the English language as an allegorical expression, a shorthand indication or signifier, for a problem that is unsolvable.
Only a few hundred words yet this classic is as beautiful as it is poignant.
When a young boy named Roger tries to steal the purse of a woman named Luella, he is just looking for money to buy stylish new shoes. After she grabs him by the collar and drags him back to her home, he's sure that he is in deep trouble. Instead, Roger is soon left speechless by her kindness and generosity.
In Regret by Kate Chopin, we have the theme of loss, loneliness, detachment, commitment, love, independence, and responsibility. Taken from her A Night in Acadie collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator.
From the Simpsons to movies, The Monkey's Paw is a classic short story that has been told over and over through the last hundred plus years.
Jim has sold his watch in order to buy the combs for Della even as she has sold her hair to buy the watch chain for Jim. Like the Magi, those wise men who invented the tradition of Christmas giving, both Della and Jim have unwisely sacrificed the greatest treasures of their house for each other.