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On Writing Short Stories

Overview


On Writing Short Stories is a unique collection of original essays by seven professional writers. It is the only text of its kind to offer writing advice from such authors, editors, and instructors as Francine Prose, Joyce Carol Oates, Frank Conroy, Andre Dubus, Robert Coles, Tom Bailey, and C. Michael Curtis, with a foreword by Tobias Wolff. These experts give voice--voices--to a dialogue about the art and craft of writing short stories.
Respecting writers' autonomy, On ...
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Overview


On Writing Short Stories is a unique collection of original essays by seven professional writers. It is the only text of its kind to offer writing advice from such authors, editors, and instructors as Francine Prose, Joyce Carol Oates, Frank Conroy, Andre Dubus, Robert Coles, Tom Bailey, and C. Michael Curtis, with a foreword by Tobias Wolff. These experts give voice--voices--to a dialogue about the art and craft of writing short stories.
Respecting writers' autonomy, On Writing Short Stories does not offer a rigidly systematic apparatus for learning to write short stories. Instead it asks what makes a short story, analyzes various aspects of craft, discusses process and revision, and also pauses to wonder why people write short stories at all. It considers the importance of reading and of peer critique in workshops as integral components of the learning process and offers advice on how to get short stories published.
Ideal for courses and workshops in creative writing, On Writing Short Stories also includes an engaging selection of eighteen short stories, both classic and contemporary, for discussion and analysis. These stories stretch the limits of narrative fiction; reading them will help students create a scaffolding for the short story form. Writing exercises are incorporated to help students put the craft into practice for themselves. A list of addresses and editors of magazines, journals, and quarterlies that publish short fiction is also included for writers who are ready to begin submitting their work for consideration.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195122725
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/28/1999
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Bailey is the author of several books, including Crow Man Stories (2003) and the novels The Grace That Keeps This World (2006) and Cotton Song (2006), as well as A Short Story Writer's Companion (OUP, 2000). His short stories have been anthologized in the Pushcart Prizes, New Stories from the South, Streetsongs: New Voices in Fiction, and cited in The Best American Short Stories. Among other awards for his writing, he has received a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship and a Newhouse Award from the John Gardner Foundation and was named winner of the 2006 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Fiction. He currently teaches in the Writers Institute at Susquehanna University, where he is a professor of English and Creative Writing.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Tobias Wolff Wolff, Tobias

Preface

Contributors

PART 1 On Writing Short Stories

What Makes a Short Story? Francine Prose Prose, Francine 3

Reading as a Writer: The Artist as Craftsman Joyce Carol Oates Oates, Joyce Carol 12

Character, Plot, Setting and Time, Metaphor, and Voice Tom Bailey Bailey, Tom 26

The Voice of Desire: Character 26

The "Why?" Behind the Power of Plot: Shaping the Short Story 45

The Lesser Angels of Fiction: Setting and Time 54

"The Connectedness of All Living Things": Metaphor 65

The Writer's Signature: Voice 71

The Writer's Workshop Frank Conroy Conroy, Frank 82

Whose Story Is It? The Anonymous Workshop Antonya Nelson Nelson, Antonya 91

After the Workshop: Transitional Drafts Robert Boswell Boswell, Robert 95

The Habit of Writing Andre Dubus Dubus, Andre 105

Why Write? Taking on the World Robert Coles Coles, Robert 112

Publishers and Publishing C. Michael Curtis Curtis, C. Michael 126

PART 2 Short Stories

The String Guy De Maupassant De Maupassant, Guy 141

The Lady with the Pet Dog Anton Chekhov Chekhov, Anton 147

Eveline James Joyce Joyce, James 159

Patriotism Yukio Mishima Mishima, Yukio 163

Hills Like White Elephants Ernest Hemingway Hemingway, Ernest 180

I Stand Here Ironing Tillie Olsen Olsen, Tillie 185

A Rose for Emily William Faulkner Faulkner, William 191

The Chrysanthemums John Steinbeck Steinbeck, John 198

The Shawl Cynthia Ozick Ozick, Cynthia 207

Everything That Rises Must Converge Flannery O'Connor O'Connor, Flannery 211

A & P John Updike Updike, John 223

Happy Endings Margaret Atwood Atwood, Margaret 229

Heat Joyce Carol Oates Oates, Joyce Carol 233

Cathedral Raymond Carver Carver, Raymond 243

North Light---A Recollection in the Present Tense Mark Helprin Helprin, Mark 254

From Black Tickets: Wedding Picture; The Powder of the Angels, and I'm Yours; Stripper; Cheers Jayne Anne Phillips Phillips, Jayne Anne 258

Wickedness Ron Hansen Hansen, Ron 263

Braids David Leavitt Leavitt, David 275

A Temporary Matter Jhumpa Lahiri Lahiri, Jhumpa 287

Alaska Tom Franklin Franklin, Tom 300

Nilda Junot Diaz Diaz, Junot 303

The Fireman Rick Bass Bass, Rick 310

Snow Dreams Tom Bailey Bailey, Tom 322

The Payoff Susan Perabo Perabo, Susan 332

The Darkness of Love Robert Boswell Boswell, Robert 343

A Father's Story Andre Dubus Dubus, Andre 370

Dick Antonya Nelson Nelson, Antonya 385

Brownies ZZ Packer Packer, ZZ 400

Lust Susan Minot Minot, Susan 415

Bullet in the Brain Tobias Wolff Wolff, Tobias 422

Index 427

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