An Introduction to Fiction / Edition 11

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Kennedy/Gioia's An Introduction to Fiction, 11th edition continues to inspire students with a rich collection of fiction and engaging insights on reading, analyzing, and writing about stories.

This bestselling anthology includes sixty-five superlative short stories, blending classic works and contemporary selections. Written by noted poets X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia, the text reflects the authors' wit and contagious enthusiasm for their subject. Informative, accessible apparatus presents readable discussions of the literary devices, illustrated by apt works, and supported by interludes with the anthologized writers. This edition features 10 new stories, three masterwork casebooks, revised and expanded chapters on writing, and a new design.

  • New “Key Terms Review” feature at the end of every major chapter—provide students a simple study guide to go over key concepts and terms in each chapter.
  • New 2009 MLA guidelines—provides students the updated source citation guidelines from the new 7th edition of the MLA Handbook and incorporates these in all sample student papers.
  • New section on “Writing a Response Paper”—provides instructions and a sample student essay for this popular type of writing assignment.
  • Updated, revised format to increase accessibility and ease of use—newly added section titles and sub-titles will help Web-oriented students navigate easily from topic to topic in every chapter. Additionally, all chapters have been reviewed and updated to include relevant cultural references.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205687886
  • Publisher: Longman
  • Publication date: 10/14/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 11
  • Pages: 832
  • Sales rank: 108,265
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

X. J. Kennedy , after graduation from Seton Hall and Columbia, became a journalist second class in the Navy (“Actually, I was pretty eighth class”). His poems, some published in the New Yorker, were first collected in Nude Descending a Staircase (1961). Since then he has written six more collections, several widely adopted literature and writing textbooks, and seventeen books for children, including two novels. He has taught at Michigan, North Carolina (Greensboro), California (Irvine), Wellesley, Tufts, and Leeds. Cited in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations and reprinted in some 200 anthologies, his verse has brought him a Guggenheim fellowship, a Lamont Award, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, an award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, an Aiken-Taylor prize, the Robert Frost Medal of the Poetry Society of America, and the Award for Poetry for Children from the National Council of Teachers of English. He now lives in Lexington, Massachusetts, where he and his wife Dorothy have collaborated on four books and five children.

Dana Gioia is a poet, critic, and teacher. Born in Los Angeles of Italian and Mexican ancestry, he attended Stanford and Harvard before taking a detour into business. (“Not many poets have a Stanford M.B.A., thank goodness!”) After years of writing and reading late in the evenings after work, he quit a vice presidency to write and teach. He has published three collections of poetry, Daily Horoscope (1986), The Gods of Winter (1991), and Interrogations at Noon (2001), which won the American Book Award; an opera libretto, Nosferatu (2001); and three critical volumes, including Can Poetry Matter? (1992), an influential study of poetry’s place in contemporary America. Gioia has taught at Johns Hopkins, Sarah Lawrence, Wesleyan (Connecticut), Mercer, and Colorado College.

He is also the co-founder of the summer poetry conference at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. From 2003-2009 he served as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. At the NEA he created the largest literary programs in federal history, including Shakespeare in American Communities and Poetry Out Loud, the national high school poetry recitation contest. He also led the campaign to restore active and engaged literary reading by creating The Big Read, which has helped reverse a quarter century of decline in U.S. reading. He currently divides his time between Washington, D.C. and Santa Rosa, California, living with his wife Mary, their two sons, and two uncontrollable cats.

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Table of Contents


To the Instructor

About the Authors

** Indicates new selections


Interview with Amy Tan

1. Reading a Story

The Art of Fiction

Types of Short Fiction

W. Somerset Maugham, The Appointment in Samarra

Aesop, The North Wind and the Sun

** Bidpai, The Tortoise and the Geese

Chuang Tzu, Independence

Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm, Godfather Death


The Short Story

John Updike, A & P

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

John Updike, Why Write?

Thinking About Plot

Checklist: Writing About Plot

Writing Assignment on Plot

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

2. Point of View

Identifying Point of View

Types of Narrators

Stream of Consciousness

William Faulkner, A Rose for Emily

Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart

** Virginia Woolf, A Haunted House

** Eudora Welty, Why I Live at the P. O.

James Baldwin, Sonny’s Blues

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

James Baldwin, Race and the African American Writer

Thinking About Point of View

Checklist: Writing About Point of View

Writing Assignment on Point of View

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

3. Character

Types of Characters

Katherine Anne Porter, The Jilting of Granny Weatherall

Katherine Mansfield, Miss Brill

** Naguib Mahfouz, The Lawsuit

Raymond Carver, Cathedral

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

Raymond Carver, Commonplace but Precise Language

Thinking About Character

Checklist: Writing About Character

Writing Assignment on Character

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

4. Setting

Elements of Setting

Historical Fiction



Kate Chopin, The Storm

Jack London, To Build a Fire

T. Coraghessan Boyle, Greasy Lake

Amy Tan, A Pair of Tickets

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

Amy Tan, Setting the Voice

Thinking About Setting

Checklist: Writing About Setting

Writing Assignment on Setting

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

5. Tone and Style




Ernest Hemingway, A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

William Faulkner, Barn Burning


O. Henry, The Gift of the Magi

Ha Jin, Saboteur

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

Ernest Hemingway, The Direct Style

Thinking About Tone and Style

Checklist: Writing About Tone and Style

Writing Assignment on Tone and Style

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

6. Theme

Plot vs. Theme

Theme as Unifying Device

Finding the Theme

Stephen Crane, The Open Boat

Alice Munro, How I Met My Husband

Luke 15:11–32, The Parable of the Prodigal Son

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Harrison Bergeron

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., The Themes of Science Fiction

Thinking About Theme

Checklist: Writing about Theme

Writing Assignment on Theme

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

7. Symbol



Recognizing Symbols

John Steinbeck, The Chrysanthemums

** John Cheever, The Swimmer

Ursula K. Le Guin, The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Shirley Jackson, The Lottery

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

Shirley Jackson, Biography of a Story

Thinking About Symbols

Checklist: Writing About Symbols

Writing Assignment on Symbols

Student Paper, An Analysis of the Symbolism in Steinbeck’s “The Chrysanthemums”

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

8. Reading Long Stories and Novels

Origins of the Novel


Novels and Journalism

Short Novels and Novellas

The Future of the Novel

Leo Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilych

Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

Franz Kafka, Discussing The Metamorphosis

Thinking About Long Stories and Novels

Checklist: Writing About Ideas for a Research Paper

Writing Assignment for a Research Paper

Student Paper, Kafka’s Greatness

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

9. Latin American Fiction

Jorge Luis Borges, The Gospel According to Mark

Octavio Paz, My Life with the Wave

** Gabriel García Márquez, A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

** Inés Arredondo, The Shunammite

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

Gabriel García Márquez, My Beginnings As A Writer

Topics for Writing on “The Gospel According to Mark”

Topics for Writing on “My Life with Wave”

Topics for Writing on “a very old man with enormous wings”

Topics for Writing on “The Shunammite”

10. Critical Casebook: Flannery O’Connor

Flannery O’Connor, A Good Man Is Hard to Find

Flannery O’Connor, Revelation

Flannery O’Connor, Parker’s Back

Flannery O’Connor on Writing

From “On Her Own Work”

On Her Catholic Faith

From “The Grotesque in Southern Fiction”

Yearbook Cartoons

Critics on Flannery O’Connor

J. O. Tate, A Good Source Is Not So Hard to Find: The Real Life Misfit

Mary Jane Schenck, Deconstructing “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”

Louise S. Cowann The Character of Mrs. Turpin in “Revelation”

Kathleen Feeley, The Mystery of Divine Direction: “Parker’s Back”

Writing Effectively

Topics for Writing

11. Critical Casebook: Three Stories in Depth

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Young Goodman Brown

** Nathaniel Hawthorne on Writing

** Reflections on Truth and Clarity in Literature

** Criticizing His Own Work

Critics on Hawthorne

** Herman Melville, Excerpt from a Review of “Mosses from and Old Manse”

** Edgar Allan Poe, The Genius of Hawthorne's Short Stories

Critics on “Young Goodman Brown”

** Richard H. Fogle, Ambiguity in “Young Goodman Brown”

** Paul J. Hurley, Evil Wherever He Looks

** Nancy Bunge, Complacency and Community

Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Yellow Wallpaper

Charlotte Perkins Gilman on Writing

Why I Wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper”

Whatever Is

The Nervous Breakdown of Women

Critics on “The Yellow Wallpaper”

Juliann Fleenor, Gender and Pathology in “The Yellow Wallpaper”

Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar, Imprisonment and Escape: The Psychology of Confinement

Elizabeth Ammons, Biographical Echoes in “The Yellow Wallpaper”

Alice Walker

Everyday Use

Alice Walker on Writing

The Black Woman Writer in America

Reflections on Writing and Women's Lives

Critics on “Everyday Use”

Barbara T. Christian, “Everyday Use” and the Black Power Movement

Houston A. Baker and Charlotte Pierce-Baker, Stylish vs. Sacred in “Everyday Use”

Elaine Showalter, Quilt as Metaphor in “Everyday Use”

Writing Effectively

Topics for Writing on “Young goodman brown”

Topics for Writing on “The Yellow Wallpaper”

Topics for Writing on “Everyday Use”

12. Stories for Further Reading

Chinua Achebe, Dead Men’s Path

** Sherman Alexie, This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

Margaret Atwood, Happy Endings

Ambrose Bierce, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Willa Cather, Paul’s Case

Anton Chekhov, The Lady with the Pet Dog

Kate Chopin, The Story of an Hour

Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street

Ralph Ellison, Battle Royal

Zora Neale Hurston, Sweat

James Joyce, Araby

** Franz Kafka, Before the Law

Jamaica Kincaid, Girl

Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies

D. H. Lawrence, The Rocking-Horse Winner

Bobbie Ann Mason, Shiloh

** Lorrie Moore, How To Become A Writer

Joyce Carol Oates, Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried

Tillie Olsen, I Stand Here Ironing

Tobias Wolff, The Rich Brother

13. Writing about Literature

Read Actively


Plan Your Essay

Discover Your Ideas

Sample Student Prewriting Exercises

Developing a Literary Argument

Writing a Rough Draft

Sample Student Paper (Rough Draft)

Revise Your Draft

Some Final Advice on Rewriting

Document Sources to Avoid Plagiarism

The Form of Your Finished Paper

Spell-Check and Grammar Check Programs

14. Writing About a Story

Read Actively

Think About the Story

Discover Ideas

Sample Student Prewriting Exercises

Write a Rough Draft

What’s Your Purpose? Common Approaches to Writing about Fiction

Topics for Writing

15. Writing a Research Paper

Browse the Research

Choose a Topic

Begin Your Research

Evaluate Sources

Organize Your Research

Refine Your Thesis

Organize Your Paper

Write and Revise

Maintain Academic Integrity

Acknowledge All Sources

Documenting Sources Using MLA Style

Reference Guide for Citation

16. Critical Approaches to Literature

Formalist Criticism

Biographical Criticism

Historical Criticism

Psychological Criticism

Mythological Criticism

Sociological Criticism

Gender Criticism

Reader-Response Criticism

Deconstructionist Criticism

Cultural Studies

Terms for Review


Photo Acknowledgements

Index of Major Themes

Index of Authors and Titles

Index of Literary Terms

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