short stories

Anton Chekhov’s Hysterical First Book Is Published After 130 Years

By

If you have never heard of Antosha Chekhonte, the brilliant parodist who published sharp, persistently hilarious sketches in Russian humor magazines (like The Alarm Clock and Dragonfly) during the late 1870s and early 1880s — well, you’re forgiven. Chekhonte, if you didn’t guess right away, was actually the young Anton Chekhov, and his first book of writings, The Prank, has never been published. Thankfully, this mess will be corrected this July when the New York Review of Books releases the slim book — a collection that Chekhov meant to usher his breakthrough into wider literary fame — for the first time in more than 130 years.
…Read More

Is Steven Millhauser America’s Best Short Story Writer? On ‘Voices in the Night’

By

The quintessential American writer’s writer, or critic’s writer, or whatever, Steven Millhauser has long excelled at the three major forms of fiction. In 1997 he won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel Martin Dressler, a chimerical 19th century study that discovers Modernist ennui under the turtle shell of the American dream. He has been praised, too, for his novellas, by Jim Shepard and others, who rightly imply that he has more or less mastered the American incarnation of the form —  even if, as Millhauser wryly explains it, the novella isn’t a form but a length.
…Read More

Hello, Cruel World: Silvina Ocampo Is Argentina’s Literary Middle Child

By

Overlooked, cruel, ruthlessly inventive: Silvina Ocampo is the forgotten middle child in the storied family of Argentine Writers. In reality, she was the youngest of six children born in Buenos Aires; one of her older sisters, Victoria, founded the legendary literary magazine Sur. Silvina was introduced to a world of intellectuals and artists at a young age. She studied painting in Paris under the artists Giorgio de Chirico, Ferdenand Léger and André Lhote (painters who inspired the surrealists) before giving it up to pursue literature. At the age of thirty, she took the nineteen-year-old Adolfo Bioy Casares, the novelist who would grow up to write The Invention of Morel, as her lover. They married seven years later.
…Read More

15 Short Stories You Can Read in Under 15 Minutes

By

Ever since the wheel tumbled into existence, we’ve looked to technology to help us do more with less. When we rolled out the printing press, publishing was revolutionized, and books began reaching readers in unprecedented numbers. Flash forward to today, and we’ve got a crop of new speed-reading platforms promising that their new way of presenting text minimizes the time and effort it takes to get through a book. But the new ways are often not the best ways (R.I.P. Google Wave; best of luck, Neil Young), and many people prefer to read at their own pace.
…Read More

An Appreciation of the Under-appreciated Mavis Gallant

By

The short-story writer Mavis Gallant, who died today at 91, was a writer’s writer. That is a nice way of saying that she wasn’t super-widely read outside the coterie of literary obsessives in America, the kind who flip straight to the fiction pages when the New Yorker arrives, a population which is shrinking every minute. Her ascension was stifled by all the people out there who say, “I love to read, but I hate short stories.” And that’s a shame, because she was a genius, one of the people who could best convey anger and frustration and loss in startlingly beautiful but incredibly economical prose.
…Read More

10 Controversial Short Stories

By

It caused an uproar upon its publication, but Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is considered by many to be her most famous work. She essentially conceived of The Hunger Games before it existed with her story about one village’s bizarre ritual, examining persecution, blind acceptance, and the parallels to her own life. Today is the author’s birthday. Inspired by “The Lottery’s” significance, we highlighted other controversial short stories, below. Feel free to add to our list with your personal favorites.
…Read More

Flavorwire Short Fiction Contest Winner: “The Art and Science of Growing Back Your Arm” by Kim Winternheimer

By

In honor of May’s National Short Story Month, Flavorwire held its first-ever short story contest and, after much deliberation, emerged with a first-place story, along with three honorable mentions. Over the course of the week, Flavorwire will be publishing each of the four winners. After the jump, read the story that won the contest: “The Art and Science of Growing Back Your Arm” by Kim Winternheimer.
…Read More

Flavorwire Short Fiction Contest Honorable Mention: “At Home” by Chris Poole

By

In honor of May’s National Short Story Month, Flavorwire held its first-ever short story contest and, after much deliberation, emerged with a first-place story, along with three honorable mentions. Over the course of the week, Flavorwire will be publishing each of the four winners. After the jump, read the second of three honorable mentions: “At Home” by Chris Poole.
…Read More

Flavorwire Short Fiction Contest Honorable Mention: “The Truth About Psych Camp” by Ann Gelder

By

In honor of May’s National Short Story Month, Flavorwire held its first-ever short story contest and, after much deliberation, emerged with a first-place story, along with three honorable mentions. Over the course of the week, Flavorwire will be publishing each of the four winners. After the jump, read the first of three honorable mentions: “The Truth About Psych Camp” by Ann Gelder.
…Read More