I am to compile a short story textbook. What want to ask you is:please guide me about famous and interesting short stories of about 2500 words. i am a university instructor in iran majored in English literature. We have a university course titled as "oral reproduction of short stories".  I am to compile a short story textbook for that course. i would be grateful if you would give me any other useful tips in this regard.

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I would include stories by Flannery O'Connor, an American writer whose stories have deeply flawed characters who almost always achieve what she called a "moment of grace." Many of the stories have a subtle humor to thier otherwise serious themes and plots.

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I would start with Edgar Allan Poe. At least a half dozen of his short stories are among the best ever written. I agree with Hemingway as well as Faulkner and Steinbeck as a good start.

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I would include stories by Kate Chopin, Katherine Mansfield and Sarah Orne Jewett to get some female representation in there, too. I think you could balance the frequently anthologised - like Poe- with the less popular. I would also look to some multicultural stories as well.

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Stories of 2,500 words end up being a five to ten pages, depending on how you format your book. This is rather short, but there are many writers who have worked in this short format. Ernest Hemingway is recommended in the post above and I would start with his work.

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I think that there are some excellent short stories by Poe that are fairly short.  I am thinking of "A Tell-tale Heart" and "The Masque of the Red Death" and these are out of copyright.  You can actually find them here on enotes but you can find full texts online just by typing the title.  Also stories like "The Speckled Band" by Arthur Conan Doyle are out of copyright and may be reprinted for free.  There are some stories, such as "The Necklace" and "The Most Dangerous Game" that are available for free online, but I don't think you can legally reproduce them without permission.  You also might want to avoid overly anthologized stories that your students might have read in high school, such as "The Pedestrian" by Ray Bradbury.

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It would be hard to offer a complete survey of short stories in the small space I have available. The best short stories were written in America, England, France, and Russia. If you only want stories originally written in English, that would exclude great stories written by Maupassant in French and Chekhov in Russian. I suggest that you ask eNotes a number of separate questions, such as "Can you recommend famous and interesting short stories of about 2500 words by American authors?" Then same question about English authors. Then about French, if you want to include stories in translation.

For American authors, you certainly should include Hawthorne, Poe, Hemingway, John Cheever, O. Henry, and I could name many more. Since you have access to the Internet, you could query eNotes about these and other authors. E-Notes has plenty of reference material on short stories.

The best book about short stories that I know of is Understanding Fiction by Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren. This is full of good short stories and analyses of them. I don't know if you can obtain a copy of this book in Iran. It is often used as a textbook in college courses.

Again, I would suggest that you submit separate questions to eNotes about authors of different nationalities. You can also Google questions such as Best Short Stories?

ENotes contains a wealth of information about Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants" and Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado," two stories that are short and should be included in your anthology.

Good luck!

 

 

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