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The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction, Compact Sixth Edition
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The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction, Compact Sixth Edition

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  543 ratings  ·  53 reviews
This brief edition of the most widely adopted book of its kind offers all of the editorial features of the longer book with about half the stories and writer commentaries in a shorter, less expensive format.
Paperback, 1060 pages
Published August 12th 2002 by Bedford/St. Martin's (first published 1983)
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Community Reviews

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Jan 26, 2009 Lizgreen79 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great choice for an intro to lit class. I used it for my Short Story Writing class this fall with great results. It has an excellent far-reaching selection of "canonical," "multi-cultural" and "marginal/experimental" texts and the latest edition even includes a section on graphic novels in the back. Tried and true. I also look forward to dipping into it here and there for years to come and would be happy to teach with it again.
So this is the new textbook that I am using in my Introduction to Fiction class. I generally don't count short stories (except those that are featured on my list of books I haven't read), but I've read this entire book now (in the past two weeks) and I want credit for that!

To the actual review part, this is a great anthology. There is an amazingly wide variety of stories pulled together here and great choices were made about which to include. My one disappointment is that Chambers has focused so
This is the best thing ever.


Obviously I didn't read every single story or essay in here. I will eventually, but I've gotten so much out of this collection, and look at it as a "return to at your convenience" sort of thing, not something you read from cover to cover. The Story and Its Writer is a collection of dreams; it's a celebration of life, death, and the limitations of humanity.
Laura Neu
This is the most incredible compilation. Not only does it include a vast array of authors (from Shirley Jackson to Edgar Allan Poe to George Saunders, to Alice Munro) but it includes a comprehensive collection of essays by renowned authors and critics alike, not to mention sections on how to write, etc. This is truly a phenomenal text.
One of the books I had to get during a college course that I'm glad I did. Someday I'll hunt down another copy to keep around.

This is a great resource for short fiction, this type of book is something I'd like to see more of. With collected short stories, you don't often get the appendices of discussing the parts of a story. And that makes sense: you're not looking for a course on reading with every anthology you pick up.

Even so, Charters includes a list of questions to ask yourself when writing
I read this book because It's been a long time since I was in school and needed a refresher course on how to write a short story. This is my son's college text book. I found it helpful and informative with just two short chapters on what elements are found in a short story. The rest of the 1069 pages of this book are short story selections and notes about the authors. I did not read the entire book. But I did read a number of the stories. It's been kind of fun reading a little story here and the ...more
Michael Mayer
I read Charters when I started reading up on Kerouac and his crew; it didn't dawn on me until later that she had also edited my undergraduate short story writing textbook. I ended up dropping the course but kept the book. This is one of the best anthologies out there with hardly a stinker in the bunch (over 1000 pages of stories). Some of my favorite authors and their best short stories are here: Raymond Carter, Angela Carter, Joyce Carol Oates, Flannery O'Connor with commentary both by these au ...more
Jessica Martin
I had to purchase this for my first college English class and really loved the variety of stories and authors. The class I used this text for was a huge factor in why I chose to major in English. It's a great book to have on your shelf. I find myself turning back to it all the time to reread some of my favorite stories and to get acquainted with the style of authors I'm curious about of stories that are referenced in academic articles. It's a great way for someone who is just starting out on the ...more
Reza Muhamad
i think this book is good. because i have a task that is about this book
this book had a lot of good stories in it
In the way of textbooks this one is really incredible. It has a truly great collection of short stories, and yes, there are fewer than the full edition, but it is almost more essential as a result. They have narrowed it down to the most key and often used. Every story I have read from this so far has been really gifted writing. The supplemental materials in the book are also at times interesting. Mostly, I really just recommend the book for the quality of short stories collected herein.
Jose Moch
Great for college students. It gives pointers from the very same writers about how to read and write short stories. Their comments about their own work or that others is really enlightening. It is also very helpful for students since it teaches in one section how to write essays. The only think that I didn't like and that's the reason I didn't give it five stars was because it doesn't include some great short story writers like O'Henry, Capote and Henry James among many others.
Deborah A.
I reviewed a lot of short story anthologies to teach a short fiction class, and this one was wonderful. It includes a lot of the classics students hadn't read on their own -- Gogol, Chekhov, Kafka, and contemporary writers as well. Concise bios and a whole section of critical essays. The students loved it, as did I. My only complaint is that it's printed on the thinnest, most see-through paper you've ever seen.
This was the text for my English Literature class at BYU. Financial circumstances caused me to sell it and regret it for years. I found a different edition that is missing a few of the stories I loved, like The Catbird Seat and The Things They Carried, but it has The Yellow Wallpaper, Young Goodman Brown,and A Good Man Is Hard To Find. This is a great collection of short stories and commentary on those stories.
This anthology is full of s lot of great short stories! I highly recommend it if you like short stories or want to try out a variety of different genres!
I have read many of these short stories before, but my favorite this time around was James Joyce's "The Dead." I cant believe after all these years of education, I had never read this short story before. It was amazing.

I also liked the commentary at the end of the book that included critiques of works within the book, essays by authors, writing/reading advice and so much more.
Taking a class in reading the greats. This anthology looks fantastic! First two stories to read: Marquez and Bender.

For this class we read quite a few of the stories in this collection. It is a wonderful anthology. Seems as if some stories are found in all my anthologies, but I was exposed to some new writers such as Bender and really enjoyed expanding my knowledge base.
Sep 22, 2009 Peggy is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
So far, my favorites are Woody Allen's "Kugelmass Episode," Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings," and Lorrie Moore's "How to Become a Writer." Allen and Moore's pieces are hilarious, and Marquez's is as brilliant as his novel "One Hundred Years of Solitude."
Dec 05, 2007 Toshio rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with a strong back
Been using the newest edition of this for a class I'm TA'ing. It's one of the most comprehensive collections I've seen and the essays and criticism in the back are engaging and illuminating. But boy, it's heavy. The best thing was it was free! Too bad I spilled tamagoyaki on it...
I have used this book, in its many editions, in my Art of the Short Story class. I love the selection, although she still hasn't chosen just the right David Foster Wallace Story ("Forever Overhead" would be my choice) and must include "Here We Aren't, So Quickly" in the next iteration.
This is a wonderful collection of short stories and writers' commentaries. We only delved into a handful during the course of my Literature class, but there are over one hundred traditional, classic, and new short stories to enjoy. This is a great book to have on hand!
Obviously I haven't gotten to every story in this compilation yet but I have gained insight from every one that I have. Great buy - worth every penny, and I'd recommend it to anyone. I bought it for school and I've never been more happy with a class-assigned text.
I read a good chunk of this for my English class this semester. It is full of short stories and commentaries on them. I enjoyed reading some of them, some of them were fine, and I really didn't like some of them. About par for a textbook, I guess.
Nov 08, 2008 Angie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Angie by: Dr. Eneves
I took a short story class and even though the class wasn't amazing I really enjoy this book. I haven't read all the stories of course but I discovered a lot of great authors and have found a lot of good books threw this book
Dec 29, 2011 Nina marked it as to-be-continued  ·  review of another edition
text for my short story writing class... it's a really good anthology, includes old guys like hemingway and faulkner and awesome female writers like margaret atwood and jhumpa lahiri, so far my new fav writer is sherwood anderson
This was one of my university text books.

I used it in combination with my Norton's and Fiction 100 book.

This book contains Faulkner's supernatural stories, "The Rockinghorse Winner" and "A Rose For Emily".
Packed with excellent short stories-new and old. This is a nice compilation to keep on the night stand for a quick read before bed, or a just a good way to discover talented writers you may not have heard of.
Daniel Carbone
This is the best collection of short stories you will ever read, and there is a ton of variety for all tastes. It also includes commentary on select stories if you are interested in criticism.
Katie Dreyer
I read quite a few stories in here for a creative writing class, but nowhere near all of them. I hope to read them all someday and put this on the 'read' shelf... A very well organized anthology.
4.5 Stars

A concise collection of unique and remarkable literature. The glossary of literary terms is very helpful. I only wish it provided more background information about the stories.
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