Lauren Leto

Guy de Maupassant

Posted in book porn by Lauren Leto on January 12, 2010

Someone commented on Readers by Author asking for me to stereotype Guy de Maupassant. I haven’t thought of one yet, but when I saw that pretty name I instantly thought of his short story The Necklace. The Necklace was one of the first short stories that I truly enjoyed. I think the next one would be The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Both of these stories introduced to me short stories as a genre, not as a quicker way to tell a story. They are beautiful and whole regardless of length.

Any other short stories you would stick in that category? (I’m thinking about short stories that you read in high school English classes…).

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12 Responses

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  1. Triple T said, on January 12, 2010 at 10:58 am

    “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut and “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell were my favorites.

  2. Megan said, on January 12, 2010 at 11:32 am

    The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman was the first short story I ever really appreciated.
    It’s still one of my favorites today.

  3. Mike said, on January 12, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    “Bullet in the Brain” by Tobias Wolff (not to be confused with “Bullet In Your Head”, by Rage Against the Machine).

  4. Sara said, on January 12, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    OOOOO….The Yellow Wallpaper is a good one. I also like “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin, “Sweat” by Zora Neal Hurston, and “Young Goodman Brown” by Hawthorne, actually any of Hawthorne’s short stories. I prefer them to his novels, always have.

  5. Dan said, on January 12, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    Bullet in the Brain is a terrific choice.

    Anyway, The Dead is probably the most famous piece out of Dubliners, but the end of Eveline is such a potent punch in the stomach, surprising considering it’s only about three pages long.

    And Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is a classic that’s still pretty horrifying today.

    Guillermo Martinez’s “Vast Hell” was translated pretty recently in The New Yorker, and is probably the best piece of short fiction published in it in a really long time

  6. Dave said, on January 13, 2010 at 7:35 am

    “A&P” by Updike, “Carnal Knowledge” by TC Boyle and almost anything by Flannery O’Connor….especially “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, “Good Country People” & “The Life You Save May Be Your Own”. Those did it for me.

  7. Erin said, on January 13, 2010 at 7:48 am

    Agree completely with The Yellow Wallpaper. Had me frantically turning pages way ahead of my class.

    I also liked Saki’s The Interlopers, and not a little because I learned the phrase “deux ex machina” upon completion.

  8. Jeremy said, on January 13, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    A Clean, Well-Lighted Place by Hemingway, Leaves by Updike, and all of Salinger’s stories that you would count as “short stories”. Those are probably the ones that stuck with me besides what people have already mentioned.

  9. Steve said, on January 14, 2010 at 3:32 am

    Hills like White Elephants, E.H.

  10. Kim said, on January 16, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    I love most of the stories listed above. I’d probably add “Eveline” by James Joyce to my list.

  11. Greg said, on January 21, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    I’ll second “The Lottery” and throw in “The Cask of Amontillado”. Now, short stories I wish we read in high school are a different matter. I would hold almost all of Neil Gaiman’s short stories in just as high esteem as some of the best I read in high school.

  12. Brittany said, on December 16, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    I realize this was posted almost a year ago, but I only recently discovered your blog and I’ve been working my way back through as many posts as I can over the past couple of days.

    In 7th grade lit, my teacher assigned “A Tell Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe and it completely altered my view of short stories. Actually, 7th grade was a giant year for me, as far as assigned reading goes. My teacher didn’t follow the typical school reading guidelines and assigned a lot of novels and short stories that, quiet frankly, annoyed the administration beyond belief. I think her boldness and faith in us as readers led me to become a lit major in college.

    Also, I’d have to second a few commenters above in mentioning “The Yellow Wallpaper” and anything by Flannery O’Connor.


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