a taste of the world's best short stories


Early 20th Century American Stories

  1. A Cat in the Rain by Ernest Hemingway
    After serving as a Red Cross Ambulance driver in Italy during World War I -- an experience which went a long way toward forming the... - Commentary by Karen Bernardo
  2. A Clean Well-Lighted Place by Ernest Hemingway
    Hemingway's 'A Clean Well-Lighted Place' centers around the conversation of two waiters in a comfortable, homey Spanish... - Commentary by Karen Bernardo
  3. A Jury of Her Peers by Susan Glaspell
    A Jury of Her Peers is a story taut with violence. At no time do we see blood; there is no screaming; there are no corpses; there... - Commentary by Karen Bernardo
  4. A Respectable Woman by Kate Chopin
    Entertaining houseguests -- particularly houseguests one doesn't know well -- can always be a bit unpredictable. In 'A Respectable Woman... - Commentary by Karen Bernardo
  5. A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner
    Faulkner's 'A Rose For Emily' is told from the viewpoint of an anonymous resident of Jefferson, Mississippi, where the Grierson... - Commentary by Karen Bernardo
  6. A Wagner Matinee by Willa Cather
    In 'A Wagner Matinee,' the narrator, a young Bostonian named Clark, is notified that his aunt is coming to visit from Nebraska. Clark... - Commentary by Karen Bernardo
  7. Babylon Revisited by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    In F. Scott Fitzgerald's 'Babylon Revisited,' the protagonist Charlie Wales has come to Paris to try to get custody of his... - Commentary by Karen Bernardo
  8. Barn Burning by William Faulkner
    As 'Barn Burning' opens, an adolescent boy named Sartoris Snopes is in court, hoping he will not have to testify in the arson case... - Commentary by Karen Bernardo
  9. Crazy Sunday by F. Scott Fitzgerald's
    F. Scott Fitzgerald's story 'Crazy Sunday' reflects a difficult era in the author's life -- the years he spent in Hollywood writing... - Commentary by Karen Bernardo
  10. Hands by Sherwood Anderson
    The thematic inspiration for Winesburg, Ohio may have been the novels of D.H. Lawrence, although Anderson used Lawrence's ideas more as a... - Commentary by Karen Bernardo
  11. Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway
    Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants," like "Cat in the Rain," illustrates the relationship of a couple who cannot... - Commentary by Karen Bernardo
  12. Mother by Sherwood Anderson
    Many of us have at some point felt we are living out our parents' vicarious dreams -- or are at the mercy of them. Sherwood Anderson's 'Mother,'... - Commentary by Karen Bernardo
  13. Paul's Case by Willa Cather
    The title character in Willa Cather's 'Paul's Case' is one of the most beautifully-drawn figures in modern literature, and the epitome of... - Commentary by Karen Bernardo
  14. Soldier's Home by Ernest Hemingway
    As Hemingway's 'Soldier's Home' opens, the protagonist, Harold Krebs, has just come back from World War I. All the other young men his... - Commentary by Karen Bernardo
  15. Spotted Horses by William Faulkner
    The Southerner's obsession with never allowing anyone to get the best of him drives Faulkner's novella 'Spotted Horses.' 'Spotted... - Commentary by Karen Bernardo
  16. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
    Kate Chopin's The Awakening , written in 1899, is not technically a short story; it's a novella, or short novel. But it is the work that made... - Commentary by Karen Bernardo
  17. The Catbird Seat by James Thurber
    Our culture, over thousands of years, has constructed many stereotypes surrounding the way men and women are expected to behave and... - Commentary by Karen Bernardo
  18. The Colour out of Space by H.P. Lovecraft
    H.P. Lovecraft, who never graduated from college, frequently used a professional -- a doctor, professor, or scientist -- as his... - Commentary by Karen Bernardo
  19. The Garden Lodge by Willa Cather
    Both Willa Cather's 'Paul's Case' and 'The Wagner Matinee' tell the story of a poor person with an artistic soul, and the way poverty... - Commentary by Karen Bernardo
  20. The Rich Boy by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    Fitzgerald's short story 'The Rich Boy' (like his novel The Great Gatsby ) utilizes an outside narrator to tell the story of a... - Commentary by Karen Bernardo
  21. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber
    In James Thurber's 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,' which was made into a classic movie starring Danny Kaye in 1947, a... - Commentary by Karen Bernardo
  22. The Shadow out of Time by H.P. Lovecraft
    H.P. Lovecraft's "The Shadow Out of Time" uses the time-honored vehicle of a respected professional -- in this case, an... - Commentary by Karen Bernardo
  23. The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber by Ernest Hemingway
    As short stories go, Hemingway's 'The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber' is not short at all; in fact,... - Commentary by Karen Bernardo
  24. The Storm by Kate Chopin
    Chopin's short story 'The Storm' was completed a year after her novel The Awakening , but it covers much the same ground. Given the outcry over... - Commentary by Karen Bernardo
  25. The Story of An Hour by Kate Chopin
    Most of Kate Chopin's most well-known stories and novels deal in some way with a marriage that is out of balance, and a woman who... - Commentary by Karen Bernardo
  26. The Unicorn in the Garden by James Thurber
    The plot of Thurber's fable 'The Unicorn in the Garden' can be summarized in only a few paragraphs. A man wakes his wife to... - Commentary by Karen Bernardo
  27. The Untold Lie by Sherwood Anderson
    Anderson's 'The Untold Lie,' another story from Winesburg, Ohio, introduces us to two farmworkers named Hal and Ray. Hal is young and a... - Commentary by Karen Bernardo
  28. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
    Winesburg Ohio, commonly assumed to be a novel, is in fact a collection of connected short stories about life in a small Midwestern town... - commentary by Karen Bernardo