A Web of Stories: An Introduction to Short Fiction / Edition 1

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This wonderful book is an anthology for introduction to fiction courses that offers a wide-ranging, fresh collection of stories. The book is a chronological organization with casebooks scattered throughout providing literary, cultural, and biographical information; and introductory chapters that are more accessible and student-oriented than anything comparable in a competing book. The book outlines the history of the short story, from its origins outside and within Europe, integrating a world perspective that includes the evolution of the modern story from its folk origins. For anyone interested in Short Stories or Creative Writing with an emphasis on fiction.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780134556512
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 9/19/1997
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 1232
  • Product dimensions: 5.96 (w) x 8.92 (h) x 1.32 (d)

Table of Contents


1. Reading Stories.
2. Writing about Stories.


Casebook: The Folk Story: Tricksters and Lies.

Helping to Lie (Germany). The Tall Tales (Burma). A Dispute in Sign Language (Israel). The Barn Is Burning (African American). The Emperor's New Clothes (Hans Christian Andersen, Denmark).
Washington Irving (1783-1859), Rip Van Winkle. Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), Young Goodman Brown. The Maypole of Merry Mount.
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), The Masque of the Red Death. The Tale-Tale Heart. Hop-Frog.

Casebook: Edgar Allan Poe.

Poe, Preface to Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque. Poe, from Marginalia. Poe, Review of Hawthorne's Twice-Told Tales. D.H. Lawrence, from Edgar Allen Poe. Joseph Patrick Roppolo, from Meaning and “The Masque of the Red Death.” Richard Wilbur, from The House of Poe. Patrick Weekes, Looking Death in the Eye: Poe's “The Masque of the Red Death” (student essay).
Herman Melville (1819-1891), Bartelby, the Scrivener.
Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), Three Deaths.
Mark Twain (1835-1910), Political Economy.
Henry James (1843-1916), Paste.
Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909), A White Heron.
Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893), The Necklace.Confessing.
Kate Chopin (1851-1904), A Pair of Silk Stockings. The Storm.
Joseph Conrad (1857-1924), The Secret Sharer.
Charles Chesnutt (1858-1932), The Web of Circumstance.
Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), The Schoolmistress. The Bet. The Darling.

Casebook: Anton Chekhov.

from The Letters of Anton Chekhov. Maxim Gorky, from the Fragments from Reminiscences. Leo Tolstoy, from the Afterword to “The Darling.” Conrad Aiken, Anton Chekhov. Vladimir Nabokov, from Chekhov's Prose. Eudora Welty, from Reality in Chekhov's Stories. Charles E. May, Chekhov and the Modern Short Story. Renato Poggioli, from Storytelling in a Double Key. Joseph Hsieh, Inner and Outer Worlds: A Comparison of Chekhov's “The Darling” and “The Schoolmistress” (student essay).
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935), The Yellow Wallpaper.
Edith Wharton (1862-1937), The Dilettante.
Stephen Crane (1871-1900), The Open Boat.
Sherwood Anderson (1876-1941), Hands.
James Joyce (1882-1941), Araby. The Boarding House.
Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), The Symbol.
Franz Kafka (1883-1924), A Report to an Academy.
D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930), Wintry Peacocks. The Rocking Horse Winner.
Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923), A Dill Pickle. The Garden-Party.

Casebook: Katherine Mansfield.

from Katherine Mansfield's Journal. from Katherine Mansfield's Letters. Middleton Murry, from Katherine Mansfield. Elizabeth Bowen, from A Living Writer: Katherine Mansfield. Mary Burgan, from Illness, Gender, and Writing: The Case of Katherine Mansfield. Cathy Young, Joyce's “Araby” and Mansfield's “The Garden-Party” : The Epiphany of Adolescence (student essay).
Katherine Anne Porter (1890-1980), The Jilting of Granny Weatherall.
Isaac Babel (1894-1939), Guy de Maupassant.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940), The Baby Party.
William Faulkner (1897-1932), A Rose for Emily. Barn Burning.
Ernest Hemingway (1898-1961), Hills like White Elephants.
Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), The Book of Sand.
John Steinbeck (1902-1968), The Chrysanthemums.
Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904-1991), The Séance.
R. K. Narayan (1906-), An Astrologer's Day.
Eudora Welty (1909-), A Visit of Charity. A Worn Path.

Casebook: Eudora Welty.

Jo Brans, Struggling against the Plaid: An Interview with Eudora Welty. Eudora Welty, Words into Fiction. Eudora Welty, Place in Fiction. Eudora Welty, Is Phoenix Jackson's Grandson Really Dead? Ruth M. Vande Kieft, from Eudora Welty: Visited and Revisited. Alfred Appel, Jr., from A Season of Dreams: The Fiction of Eudora Welty. Amanda Morgan, The Shadow Child: A Sequel to “A Worn Path” (student essay).
Naguib Mahfouz (1911-), The Norwegian Rat.
John Cheever (1912-1982), Clancy in the Tower of Babel. The Five-Forty-Eight.
Tillie Olsen (1913-), I Stand Here Ironing.
Bernard Malamud (1914-1986), Angel Levine.
Ralph Ellison (1914-1994), King of the Bingo Game.
Doris Lessing (1919-), How I Finally Lost My Heart. The Mother of the Child in Question.
Grace Paley (1922-), A Conversation with My Father.
Italo Calvino (1923-1985), The Adventure of a Reader.
Nadine Gordimer (1923-), Crimes of Conscience.
James Baldwin (1924-1987), The Rockpile. Sonny's Blues.

Casebook: James Baldwin.

Jordan Elgrably and George Plimpton, from The Art of Fiction: An Interview with James Baldwin. James Baldwin, Autobiographical Notes. James Baldwin, The Creative Process. John M. Reilly, from “Sonny's Blues” : James Baldwin's Image of Black Community. Keith E. Byerman, Words and Music: Narrative Ambiguity in “Sonny's Blues.” Pancho Savery, Baldwin, Bebop, and “Sonny's Blues.” Zachary Roberts, Listening to “Sonny's Blues” (student essay).
Kobo Abe (1924-1994), The Magic Chalk.
Flannery O' Connor (1925-1964), Revelation.
Yukio Mishima (1925-1970), Swaddling Clothes.
Clarice Lispector (1925-1977), The Evolution of Myopia.
Gabriel García Márquez (1928-), The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World.
Chinua Achebe (1930-), The Madman.
John Barth (1930-), Autobiography: A Self-Recorded Fiction.
Donald Barthelme (1931-1989), The Sandman.
Alice Munro (1931-), Circle of Prayer.
John Updike (1932-), The Brown Chest.
Elena Poniatowska (1933-), Park Cinema.
Gerald Vizenor (1934-), Almost Browne.
Chen Rong (1935-), Regarding the Problem of Newborn Piglets in Winter.
Bessie Head (1937-1986), Snapshots of a Wedding.
Joyce Carol Oates (1938-), Why Don't You Come Live with Me It's Time.
Raymond Carver (1938-1988), Intimacy. Cathedral.
Margaret Atwood (1939-), Simmering.
Toni Cade Bambara (1939-1995), Raymond's Run.
Amos Oz (1939), Nomad and Viper.
Bharati Mukherjee (1940-), A Wife's Story.
Bobbie Ann Mason (1942-), Airwaves.
John Edgar Wideman (1941-), Doc's Story.
Isabel Allende (1942-), Phantom Palace.
Sergio Ramírez (1942-), Charles Atlas Also Dies.
James Alan McPherson (1943-), A Loaf of Bread.
Robert Olen Butler (1944-), Letters from My Father.
Alice Walker (1944-), Roselily.
Tobias Wolff (1945-), Lady's Dream.
Tim O'Brien (1946-), The Man I Killed.
Ann Beattie (1947-), Janus.
Leslie Marmon Silko (1948-), Yellow Woman.
Jamaica Kincaid (1949-), Poor Visitor.
Haruki Murakami (1949-), A Window.
Gloria Naylor (1950-), The Two.
Alberto Alvaro Ríos (1952-), Not like Us.
Gary Soto (1952-), El Radio.
Amy Tan (1952-), Best Quality.
Sandra Cisneros (1954-), The Monkey Garden.
Louise Erdrich (1954-), Fleur. Eleanor's Tale: The Leap.

Casebook: Louise Erdrich.

Nancy Feyl Chavkin and Allan Chavkin, from An Interview with Louise Erdrich. Louise Erdrich, Where I Ought to Be: A Writer's Sense of Place. Kathleen M. Sands, Comments on Erdrich's “Love Medicine.” Leslie Marmon Silko, Here's an Odd Artifact for the Fairy-Tale Shelf. Review of Louise Erdrich's The Beet Queen. Susan Meisenhelder, Race and Gender in Louise Erdrich's The Beet Queen. Jennifer Sergi, Storytelling: Tradition and Preservation in Louise Erdrich's Tracks. Michael Lee, Erdrich's Dakota as Metaphor for American Culture: Review of Tales of Burning Love. Sage Van Wing, A Cultural Heritage: Louise Erdrich's Fiction. (student research essay).
Elizabeth Tallent (1954-), Ciudad Juárez.
Reginald McKnight (1958-), The Kind of Light that Shines on Texas.
David Leavitt (1961-), Gravity.


A. A Brief History of the Story Form.
B. Finding and Documenting Source Materials for Research Papers.
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