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This sounds like a great project. If you need to read a short story and presumably report on it or write a paper on it, then let me suggest some great ones.
A story that has a lot of suspense is the "Monkey's Paw." W.W. Jacobs is the author and it revolves around a mysterious monkey's paw that is supposed to give wishes to the one who owns it. In this case, the White family has it and they jokingly make one wish. They wish for the mortgage of their house to be paid off. They do get the money, but they get the money at the expense of the death of their son. As the story develops, there is more mystery. I won't give the ending away.
Some other favorites are: "The Gift of the Magi," and "the Lottery."
Short stories are a terrific way to study literature - all the elements of great writing artfully presented in a shorter version. TOUGH. Let's try writers who are hip, modern and actually breathing! A great short story is "Girls and Boys" by Alice Munro, a Canadian short story writer of international fame. She is a modern writer (alive!) and very interested in modern life. Take a look. She is subtle, clever and always a little funny if you read carefully. There is also a very excellent short film of the same name. I think it is from the Canadian National Film Board...probably available online. Or, for a short story writer who is very clever and a little off the wall try Zsuzsi Gartner and something from her award winning collection Better Living Through Plastic Explosives. Very cool stuff. Or, how about Caroline Adderson's first collection, Bad Imaginings (1993), featuring a terrific story "The Chmarny" (The Rainmaker.) Can you stand one more suggestion? If you like sports stories and outdoorsy themes, take a look at Angie Abdou's collection Anything Boys Can Do. They are sneaky fun. Think about an author who is new and writing for modern readers. Yes, there are a lot of classic stories, and there are even more new great authors who deserve your attention. Another advantage: you can usually contact authors via their websites so give drop them a line with a (well, perfectly expressed) question or two.
Have Fun! Short stories are like a multi-vitamin - small and powerful!
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