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The Art of the Short Story

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  416 ratings  ·  37 reviews
This affordably-priced collection presents masterpieces of short fiction from 52 of the greatest story writers of all time. From Sherwood Anderson to Virginia Woolf, this anthology encompasses a rich global and historical mix of the very best works of short fiction and presents them in a way students will find accessible, engaging, and relevant. The book's unique integrati ...more
Paperback, 944 pages
Published September 9th 2005 by Pearson (first published 2005)
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George Rife I just bought a used one from for about $7.50, free shipping.

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 ·  416 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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Feb 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Art of the Short Story

Authors: Dana Gioia and R.S. Gwynn

Pearson-Longman, 2006

I really liked the layout of the book. There were fifty-two (52) authors presented, with sixty-three (63) short-stories. The authors were arranged in alphabetical order. For each author there was biographical information, a short-story (some had more than one story), and an “author’s perspective.” There is a diverse group of accomplished authors from many countries.

The “author’s perspective” is an interesting way G
I'm so proud of myself I finished my required reading *pat on the back* for 9th grade. I deserve a cookie.

I'll probably have to read the other short stories later, but for now I'm proud of myself. My favorite short stories in this book are The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe and The Lottery by Shirley Jackson.
Eli Mandel
Sep 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When I bought this book it had a front and back cover.
Three years ago, a lifetime ago, I thought I would spend more than an hour a year writing. I looked into writing classes and saw this book on the syllabus for one online class. I didn't take the class, but I've been reading this book since then.
I discovered so many writers. Sherwood Anderson, Joseph Conrad, James Baldwin! Shirley Jackson, Jorge Luis Borges, Albert Camus, Alice Munro to name a few.
My readings inspired more readings. I subscri
Jun 27, 2013 rated it liked it
I think I read 55ish of the 61 stories in here. The editors tried as hard as white men can to provide an array of diversity in authors but I still felt stifled, perhaps because the overwhelming majority of the stories seemed to come from the 1920s - 60s. I would have ordered things differently, and not included a picture of goddamn Ernest Hemingway at the introduction.
Several selections were exactly what I'd desired: pieces that say something new and profound by authors who excel at their craft
Oct 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: shorts, school
Very staid and safe selection primed for intro courses and extremely limited in anything not from the English. Still, it's a good introduction if you've been feeling guilty about not reading any short stories, especially if you know which authors to skip straight to. There are some five star stories in here despite their reputations. And lookie how lucky you are that I did all the leg work: (4 stars)

The best, without further commentary:
1. "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker
2. "Sonny's Blues" by James
David Clark
Jul 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
I have been reading short-story anthologies searching for a collection that might serve as a single text for an undergraduate course covering short fiction. This collection by Dana Gioia and R.S. Gwynn is by far the best candidate. This lengthy text contained stories I have taught like Hawthorne's "The Birthmark" and Raymond Carver's "Cathedral" but also collects some unknown gems--at least, unknown to me--by authors better known for their long fiction. For instance I was unaware of William Faul ...more
Stephen Dorneman
Apr 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
This massive (926 pages) collection of short stories by 52 different authors includes biographical notes plus short essays by each author on the writing process. Clearly intended as a textbook (with a literary terms glossary, examples of how student papers should be written, and examples from many different types of literary criticism following the stories), it is still a great way for a writer or reader to familiarize or reacquaint themselves with the classics of the form. I'm always happy to r ...more
May 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I really can't imagine a better compendium of work displaying the art of the short story format. For me it is how the editors chose to structure the book that really shines here: Well written biographies are juxtaposed with examples of the author's best work and then an excerpt from an interview or essay by the author explaining the story, their views on writing or another similarly related topic. I supose one criticism might be that the collection is too obvious. Hemingway, Faulkner, Camus, Kaf ...more
Oct 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
If you enjoy short fiction (my favorite genre), this is a must-read! This outstanding collection of classic short stories (Fall of the House of Usher, The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas, The Yellow Wallpaper, The Swimmer) features an informative biography of the author prefacing each story, and concludes each piece with some words on the art of writing by the author. Any reader is sure to meet some old favorites and discover new masterpieces (for example, Patriotism by Yukio Mishima). Don't miss ...more
Deborah Rose
Sep 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
In the spirit of Emerson who said "First we read, then we write", I picked up The Art of the Short Story. I'm learning so much from all who have gone before me. It can be intimidating, how can I hope to follow...? My favourite thing about this book is that each author is presented in three parts: a Biographical Sketch; an example of their work; and their perspective on why and how they write, the difficulties and pain involved... This section gives me hope. Everyone struggles, no-one finds it ea ...more
Apr 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book is an excellent short story collection, but what I like the most is that the selections are paired with reflections in the writers' own works about their writing and philosophy of writing. The back of the book has some excellent ancillary material that is helpful to students. Highly recommended.
May 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
All the "classic" short stories writing teachers ever need to teach are compacted into one convenient anthology. What I find most convenient are the author's brief biographies and the ideas and inspirations behind the short stories.

Both authors and titles are listed on the blurb page.
Megan (Read. Write. Ramble.)
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was the reader that went along with my Intermediate Fiction Writing class this semester. We would read a story a week and respond to it. I really enjoyed the stories anthologized here and was definitely introduced to some new authors whose writing I really enjoy!
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
C'est magnifique!
Mar 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Some of the best stories in this collection so far:

1. Sherwood Anderson "Hands"

2. James Baldwin "Sonny's Blues"

3. Jorge Luis Borges "The Garden of Forking Paths"

4. Albert Camus "The Guest"

5. Raymond Carver "Cathedral" & "A Small, Good Thing"

6. William Faulkner "Barn Burning" & "A Rose For Emily"

7. F. Scott Fitzgerald "Babylon Revisited"

8. Charlotte Perkins Gilman "The Yellow Wallpaper"

9. Nikolai Gogol "The Overcoat"

10. Ernest Hemingway "A Cool Well-Lighted Place"

11. Shirley Jackson "The
Aug 01, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reference
This is the textbook that accompanies an MIT online course on writing short stories. It's very good. There is a wide variety of masters of the short story from whom we can all learn or just read to enjoy a good story. What I'm saying it works well with the course or just alone. Sad that it's out of print and outdated. Some of the authors are no longer living. However, their words, as we like to say, live on.

A bit weighty and unwieldy so it's good to be situation where you can hold this and read
Oct 12, 2011 marked it as to-read
I don't know if I want to get this specific book or just keep it in mind as a list of important short stories to get to. Many of these are from such important authors that I might prefer an anthology from each of them. (And I've read a ton of them already.)

Here's the table of contents.

And don't forget to read James Baldwin.
Megan Peet
As of November 23rd, 2013, I have read 19 out of 63 of these stories. My class that I was reading this for is ending, so I'm going to go ahead and put this on my "Read" shelf, but since I think I'll go back and read some more of the stories in here, I'll also put it on "Didn't finish" until I've read all of them.
Aaron Dietz
Feb 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Oh, you know--some really great stories and some really boring stories. Some skippable material. Some interesting pairings of stories with essays from authors explaining their work. Some non-interesting essays/interviews. But all said, I'm glad I hit quite a few of these stories because you'd think I would have long ago. Classic stuff.
Sep 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I haven't actually read all of the stories in this book yet and don't intend on reading it the same way I would do with any novel or book of the sort, but I really like the format of this book and many of the stories in this compilation seem amazing. I'm really glad my English teacher made us buy this book.
Kali VanBaale
Jul 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A really fantastic collection of classic short stories, ranging in authors from Joyce Carol Oates to Anton Chekhov. Also includes a bio page for each author and a corresponding short "Author's Perspective" about some aspect of craft. A MUST read for students of the short story. I use it when teaching undergraduate short story classes.
Nov 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
school text for a year (?) and is still a delightful shelf keep. during As prep, i would come back home from school, sit on the dining room floor, hunched over and completely immersed in a story picked at random. can count on this book to surprise you with a new author/new story. and then spirits lifted, i get back to work.
Another fantastic collection of short stories by short story masters--some that you expect to find in such a collection, others off the beaten path. The book also includes several essays by many of the authors on their writing processes. Which I like to see.
Christopher Ryan
Jul 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great resource for reading the masters and learning some tidbit about their thoughts on writing.
Aug 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
Great for teaching creative writing.
Louis Lowy
Jun 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The masters of short story writing from Sherwood Anderson to Virginia Woolf. Each story comes with an article or essay written by the author. A true inspiration to my own writing.
Jun 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
A collection of truly great stories by masterful artists. A must read if you love reading and writing short stories.
This was a required reading for my graduate course, Topics in American Literature.
Eric Shaffer
Sep 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
I used this one for a novel and short story course, and it had all the stories I needed and more. During my winter holidays, I hope to read the stories that I haven't read before.
Aug 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
As part of my "Creative Writing" course
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Dana Gioia is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning poet. Former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Gioia is a native Californian of Italian and Mexican descent. He received a B.A. and a M.B.A. from Stanford University and an M.A. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University. (Gioia is pronounced JOY-uh.)

Gioia has published four full-length collections of poetry, as wel