During her many years of teaching introduction to fiction courses, Ann Charters developed an acute sense of which stories work most effectively in the classroom. She also discovered that writers, not editors, have the most interesting and useful things to say about the making and the meaning of fiction. Accordingly, her choice of fiction in the first edition of her The Story and Its Writer was as notable for its student appeal as it was for its quality and range. And to complement these stories, she introduced a lasting innovation: an array of the writers' own commentaries on the craft and traditions of the short story. In subsequent editions her sense of what works was confirmed as the book evolved into the most comprehensive, diverse -- and bestselling -- introduction to fiction anthology. Instructors rely on Ann Charters' ability to assemble an authoritative and teachable anthology, and anticipate each edition's selection of new writers and stories.
|Publisher:||MacMillan Higher Education|
|Edition description:||Older Edition|
About the Author
ANN CHARTERS (Ph.D., Columbia University) is a professor of English at the University of Connecticut and has taught courses in the short story for over thirty years. A preeminent authority on the Beat writers, Charters has written a critically acclaimed biography of Jack Kerouac; compiled Beats & Company, a collection of her own photographs of Beat writers; and edited the best-selling Portable Beat Reader. Her recent books include The Kerouac Reader, Selected Letters of Jack Kerouac, 1957-1969, Beat Down to Your Soul, and The Portable Sixties Reader. Her other textbooks with Bedford/St. Martin's include The American Short Story and Its Writer, and Literature and Its Writers, co-edited with Samuel Charters.
Date of Birth:November 10, 1936
Place of Birth:Bridgeport, Connecticut
Education:B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1957; M.A., Columbia University, 1959; Ph.D., 1965
Table of Contents
PART ONE: STORIES
Chinua Achebe, Civil Peace
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
Woody Allen, The Kugelmass Episode
*Isabelle Allende, An Act of Vengeance
Sherwood Anderson, Death in the Woods
Sherwood Anderson, Hands
Margaret Atwood, Happy Endings
James Baldwin, Sonny's Blues
Toni Cade Bambara, The Lesson
Russell Banks, Black Man and White Woman in Dark Green Rowboat
John Barth, Lost in the Funhouse
* Donald Barthelme, The Indian Uprising
* Ann Beattie, Snow
*Gina Berriault, The Overcoat
Ambrose Bierce, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
*Jorge Luis Borges, The Circular Ruins
Tadeusz Borowski, This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen
*T. Corraghesan Boyle, Greasy Lake
*Ray Bradbury, August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains
Albert Camus, The Guest
*Raymond Carver, Cathedral
*Raymond Carver, Errand
Raymond Carver, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
Willa Cather, Paul's Case
John Cheever, The Swimmer
Anton Chekhov, The Darling [Garnett translation]
Anton Chekhov, The Lady with the Little Dog
Kate Chopin, Désirée's Baby
Kate Chopin, The Story of an Hour
Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
Julio Cortázar, A Continuity of Parks
Stephen Crane, The Open Boat
Edwidge Danticat, Night Women
*Junot Diaz, How to Date A Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie
*Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Mrs. Dutta Writes a Letter
Ralph Ellison, Battle Royal
Louise Erdrich, The Red Convertible
William Faulkner, A Rose for Emily
William Faulkner, That Evening Sun
F. Scott Fitzgerald, Babylon Revisited
Gustave Flaubert, A Simple Heart
*Richard Ford, Under the Radar
Gabriel García Márquez, A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper
Nikolai Gogol, The Overcoat
*Nadine Gordimer, Some Are Born to Sweet Delight
*Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Minister's Black Veil
Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown
Bessie Head, Woman from America
Ernest Hemingway, Hills Like White Elephants
*Oscar Hijuelos, Lunch at the Biltmore
Zora Neale Hurston, The Gilded Six-Bits
Zora Neale Hurston, Spunk
Zora Neale Hurston, Sweat
Washington Irving, Rip Van Winkle
Shirley Jackson, The Lottery
Henry James, The Real Thing
Gish Jen, Whose Irish?
Sarah Orne Jewett, A White Heron
*Ha Jin, Saboteur
*Denis Johnson, Car Crash While Hitchhiking
James Joyce, Araby
James Joyce, The Dead
Franz Kafka, A Hunger Artist
Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis
Jamaica Kincaid, Girl
*Jhumpa Lahiri, When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine
Mary Lavin, The Widow's Son
D. H. Lawrence, Odour of Chrysanthemums
D. H. Lawrence, The Rocking-Horse Winner
*David Leavitt, Gravity
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas
Doris Lessing, Sunrise on the Veld
Clarice Lispector, The Smallest Woman in the World
Jack London, To Build a Fire
Katherine Mansfield, Bliss
*Katherine Mansfield, The Fly
Bobbie Ann Mason, Shiloh
Guy de Maupassant, The Necklace
Herman Melville, Bartleby, the Scrivener
*Arthur Miller, The Performance
*Steven Millhauser, Cat ‘N' Mouse
*Nicholasa Mohr, Tell the Truth
Rick Moody, Boys
Lorrie Moore, How to Become a Writer
Bharati Mukherjee, The Management of Grief
*Alice Munro, Miles City, Montana
*Haruki Murakami, Landscape with Flatiron
*Joyce Carol Oates, The Lady with the Pet Dog
*Joyce Carol Oates, Three Girls
Joyce Carol Oates, Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?
Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried
Flannery O'Connor, Everything That Rises Must Converge
Flannery O'Connor, Good Country People
Flannery O'Connor, A Good Man Is Hard to Find
Frank O'Connor, Guests of the Nation
Tillie Olsen, I Stand Here Ironing
Cynthia Ozick, The Shawl
*ZZ Packer, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere
Grace Paley, A Conversation with My Father
Octavio Paz, My Life with the Wave
Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado
Edgar Allan Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher
Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart
*Katherine Anne Porter, He
*William Sidney Porter (O. Henry), The Gift of the Magi
Annie Proulx, The Blood Bay
*Alifa Rifaat, Distant View of a Minaret
Philip Roth, The Conversion of the Jews
*George Saunders, Brad Carrigan, American
Leslie Marmon Silko, Yellow Woman
*Helen Simpson, Café Society
Susan Sontag, The Way We Live Now
Gertrude Stein, Miss Furr and Miss Skeene
John Steinbeck, The Chrysanthemums
*Susan Straight, Mines
Amy Tan, Two Kinds
Leo Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilych
Jean Toomer, Blood Burning Moon
John Updike, A & P
*Luisa Valenzuela, The Place of Its Quietude
Helena Maria Viramontes, The Moths
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Harrison Bergeron
Alice Walker, Everyday Use
*David Foster Wallace, Incarnation of Burned Children
Eudora Welty, Why I Live at the P.O.
Eudora Welty, A Worn Path
Edith Wharton, Roman Fever
John Edgar Wideman, newborn thrown in trash and dies
William Carlos Williams, The Use of Force
*Tobias Wolff, Say Yes
Virginia Woolf, Kew Gardens
Richard Wright, The Man Who Was Almost a Man
*Gao Xingjian, The Accident
Hisaye Yamamoto, Wilshire Bus
PART TWO: COMMENTARIES
Chinua Achebe, An Image of Africa: Conrad's Heart of Darkness
*Sherman Alexie, Superman and Me
Paula Gunn Allen, Whirlwind Man Steals Yellow Woman
*Isabel Allende, Short Stories by Latin American Women
Sherwood Anderson, Form, Not Plot, in the Short Story
Margaret Atwood, Reading Blind
James Baldwin, Autobiographical Notes
Russell Banks, Author's Note
Willa Cather, The Stories of Katherine Mansfield
*Ann Charters, Translating Kafka
Anton Chekov, Technique in Writing the Short Story
John Cheever, Why I Write Short Stories
Kate Chopin, How I Stumbled upon Maupassant
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), Private History of "The Jumping Frog" Story
Robert Coles, Tillie Olsen: The Iron and the Riddle
*Julio Cortazar, On the Short Story and Its Environs
Stephen Crane, The Sinking of the Commodore
Ralph Ellison, The Influence of Folklore on Battle Royal
Richard Ellmann, A Biographical Perspective on Joyce's The Dead
William Faulkner, The Meaning of "A Rose for Emily"
Richard Ford, Why We Like Chekov
Carlos Fuentes, Mexico, The United States, and the Multicultural Future
*Gabriel Garcia Marquez- The Challenge
Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar, A Feminist Reading of Gilman's" The Yellow Wallpaper"
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Undergoing the Cure for Nervous Prostration
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Why I Wrote "The Yellow Wallpaper"
Janice H. Harris, Levels of Meaning in Lawrence's "The Rocking-Horse Winner"
Washington Irving, Washington Irving, Letter to Henry Brevoort, December 11, 1824
Shirley Jackson, The Morning of June 28, 1948, and "The Lottery"
Henry James, The Genesis of "The Real Thing"
Gustav Janouch, Kafka's View of The Metamorphosis
*Gish Jen, On Ethnicity and Writing
Sarah Orne Jewett, Looking Back on Girlhood
James Weldon Johnson, Lynching in Tennessee
Jamaica Kincaid, On "Girl"
D. H. Lawrence, Draft Passage from "Odour of Chrysanthemums"
Leslie Lee, Scene from the Screenplay of Almos' a Man
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Scapegoat in Omelas
Jack London, Jack London, Letter to the Editor on "To Build a Fire"
Katherine Mansfield, Review of Woolf's "Kew Gardens"
Bobbie Ann Mason, On Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried"
Guy de Maupassant, The Writer's Goal
Herman Melville, Blackness in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown
*Louis Menand, True Story: The Art of Short Fiction
J. Hillis Miller, Who Is He? Melville's "Bartleby, the Scrivener"
Alice Munro, How I Write Short Stories
Vladimir Nabokov, Gogol's Genius in "The Overcoat"
Vladimir Nabokov, A Reading of Chekov's "The Lady with the Little Dog"
J. C. C. Nachtigal, Peter Klaus the Goatherd
Tim O'Brien, Alpha Company
Frank O'Connor, The Nearest Thing to Lyric Poetry Is the Short Story
Frank O'Connor, Style and Form in Joyce's The Dead
Grace Paley, A Conversation with Ann Charters
Jay Parini, Lawrence and Steinbeck's "Chrysanthemums"
*Annie Proulx, Inspiration? Head Down the Back Road, and Stop for the Garage Sales
Peter Rudy, Tolstoy's Revisions in The Death of Ivan Illych
Edward Said, The Past and the Present: Joseph Conrad and the Fiction of Autobiography
*Joan Silber, Long Times in Short Stories, or Why Can't a Story Be More Like a Novel?
Leslie Marmon Silko, Language and Literature from a Pueblo Indian Perspective
*Susan Sontag, Writing as Reading
Amy Tan, In the Canon, For All the Wrong Reasons
*Leo Tolstoy, Chekov's Intent in "The Darling"
Lionel Trilling, The Greatness of Conrad's Heart of Darkness
*Cheryl B. Torsney, "Everyday Use": My Sojourn at Parchman Farm
John Updike, Kafka and The Metamorphosis
Eudora Welty, Is Phoenix Jackson's Grandson Really Dead?
Eudora Welty, Plot and Character in Chekov's "The Darling"
Edith Wharton, Every Subject Must Contain within Itself Its Own Dimensions
Richard Wright, Reading Fiction
PART THREE: CASEBOOKS
CASEBOOK 1: RAYMOND CARVER
Raymond Carver, On Writing
Raymond Carver, Creative Writing 101
Raymond Carver, The Ashtray
*Raymond Carver, On Errand
*Olga Knipper, Remembering Chekhov
*Henry Troyat, Chekhov's Last Days
*Tom Jenks, The Origin of "Cathedral"
Arthur M. Saltzman, A Reading of What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
A.O. Scott, Looking for Raymond Carver
CASEBOOK 2: ZORA NEALE HURSTON
Zora Neale Hurston, How It Feels to Be Colored Me
Zora Neale Hurston, What White Publishers Won't Print
*Zora Neale Hurston, Harlem Slanguage
Robert Bone, A Folkloric Analysis of Hurston's "Spunk" and "The Gilded Six-Bits"
Rosalie Murphy Baum, The Shape of Hurston's Fiction
Alice Walker, Zora Neale Hurston: A Cautionary Tale and a Partisan View
CASEBOOK 3: FLANNERY O'CONNOR
Flannery O'Connor, From Letters 1954-1955
Flannery O'Connor, Writing Short Stories
Flannery O'Connor, A Reasonable Use of the Unreasonable
V. S. Pritchett, Flannery O'Connor: Satan Comes to Georgia
Robert H. Brinkmeyer, Jr., Flannery O'Connor and Her Readers
Dorothy Tuck McFarland, On Good Country People
Wayne C. Booth, A Rhetorical Reading of O'Connor's Everything That Rises Must Converge Sally Fitzgerald, Southern Sources of "A Good Man Is Hard to Find"
*CASEBOOK 4: JOYCE CAROL OATES
*Joyce Carol Oates, from "Stories that Define Me: The Making of a Writer"
Joyce Carol Oates, Smooth Talk: Short Story into Film
*Don Moser, The Pied Piper of Tuscon
*Matthew C. Brennan, Chekov's and Oates' "Lady with Dog"
*Publishers Weekly, Review of I Am No One You Know
*John Schwartz, Oates' I Am No One You Know
CASEBOOK 5: EDGAR ALLAN POE
Edgar Allan Poe, The Importance of the Single Effect in a Prose Tale
D. H. Lawrence, On "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "The Cask of Amontillado"
Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren, A New Critical Reading of "The Fall of the House of Usher"
James W. Gargano, The Question of Poe's Narrators in "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Cask of Amontillado"
J. Gerald Kennedy, On "The Fall of the House of Usher"
David S. Reynolds, Poe's Art of Transformation in "The Cask of Amontillado"
Joan Dayan, Amorous Bondage: Poe, Ladies, and Slaves
*CASEBOOK 6: GRAPHIC NARRATIVES
new Scott McCloud, from Understanding Comics
*Will Eisner, from "Hamlet on a Rooftop"
* R. Crumb and David Zane Mairowitz, "A Hunger Artist"
*Art Spiegelman, from Maus
*Marjane Satrapi, from Persepolis
*Gilbert Hernandez, "The Mystery Wen"
* Jiro Taniguchi, "A Blanket of Cherry Blossoms"
*Lynda Barry, "Two Questions"
PART FOUR: APPENDICES
*1. READING SHORT STORIES [includes Grace Paley, "Samuel"]
2. THE ELEMENTS OF FICTION
3. A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE SHORT STORY
4. WRITING ABOUT SHORT STORIES
*5. LITERARY THEORY AND CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES
6. GLOSSARY OF LITERARY TERMS
7. CHRONOLOGICAL LISTING OF AUTHORS AND STORIES
* new to this edition