Today marks the release of The Angel Esmeralda, which we admit we were surprised to realize was Don DeLillo’s first ever collection of short stories. Many authors publish short stories in journals before attempting novels, and often even publish collections to whet the public’s appetite for some larger fare. Some authors, like George Saunders and Lorrie Moore, are known mostly for their short stories (in fact, Saunders has never written even a token novel, which is relatively unusual for a writer of his renown), but the release of DeLillo’s book got us thinking about the other side — authors primarily known for their long-form fiction that have also written short stories, to varying degrees of success. Click through to see our list of ten short stories you probably haven’t read by authors famous for their long form work, and let us know which other underrated shorts you hold dear in the comments.
“Creation” — Don DeLillo (1979)
“When I started thinking about myself as a writer, the work I did was almost exclusively devoted to the short story,” DeLillo told NPR. “I think many writers in those years started with a story — the American short story [is] such a classic form.” However, after publishing his first few stories in literary journals at the beginning of his career, DeLillo switched to novels and stayed there. Like his longer fiction, “Creation” evokes a distinct sense of wide space and a rather Kafkaesque struggle with authority, all in beautiful, simply stated prose.