The more than 600 stories written by O. Henry provided an embarrassment of riches for the compilers of this volume. The final selection of the thirty-eight stories in this collection offers for the reader's delight those tales honored almost unanimously by anthologists and those that represent, in variety and balance, the best work of America's favorite storyteller. They are tales in his most mellow, humorous, and ironic moods. They give the full range and flavor of the man born William Sydney Porter but known throughout the world as O. Henry, one of the great masters of the short story.
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The Gift of the Magi
Excerpted from "The Best Short Stories of O. Henry"
Copyright © 1994 O. Henry.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
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Such tales as 'A Municipal Report,' 'An Unfinished Story,' 'A Blackjack Bargainer,' 'A Lickpenny Lover,' 'The Gift of the Magi,' 'Mammon and the Archer,' and 'Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen' (by actual count the O.Henry stories most often reprinted in anthologies) are gems of their kind; mellow, humorous, ironic, ingenious, and shot through with that eminently salable quality known as 'human interest.'
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