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The Cambridge Introduction to the American Short Story
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 (ISBN-13: 9780511331862)

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This wide-ranging introduction to the short story tradition in the United States of America traces the genre from its beginnings in the early nineteenth century with Irving, Hawthorne and Poe via Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Faulkner to O'Connor and Carver. The major writers in the genre are covered in depth with a general view of their work and detailed discussion of a number of examples of individual stories. The Cambridge Introduction to the American Short Story offers a comprehensive and accessible guide to this rich literary tradition. It will be invaluable to students and readers looking for critical approaches to the short story and wishing to deepen their understanding of how authors have approached and developed this fascinating and challenging genre. Further reading suggestions are included to explore the subject in more depth. This is an invaluable overview for all students and readers of American fiction.


1. Introduction; 2. The short story as ironic myth: Washington Irving and William Austin; 3. Nathaniel Hawthorne; 4. Edgar Allan Poe; 5. Herman Melville; 6. New territories: Bret Harte and Mark Twain; 7. Realism, the grotesque and impressionism: Hamlin Garland, Ambrose Bierce and Stephen Crane; 8. Henry James; 9. Rebecca Harding Davis, Sarah Orne Jewett and Mary Wilkins Freeman; 10. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Kate Chopin, Willa Cather and Edith Wharton; 11. Growth, fragmentation, new aesthetics and new voices in the early twentieth century; 12. O. Henry and Jack London; 13. Sherwood Anderson; 14. Ernest Hemingway; 15. F. Scott Fitzgerald; 16. William Faulkner; 17. Katherine Anne Porter, Eudora Welty and Flannery O'Connor; 18. Charles Chesnutt, Richard Wright, James Baldwin and the African American short story to 1965; 19. Aspects of the American short story 1930–80; 20. Two traditions and the changing idea of the mainstream; 22. The postmodern short story in America; 22. Raymond Carver; 23. Epilogue: the contemporary American short story; Guide to further reading.

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