short stories

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

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

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

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

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15 Short Stories You Can Read in Under 15 Minutes

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

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An Appreciation of the Under-appreciated Mavis Gallant

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

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10 Controversial Short Stories

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

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

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

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Flavorwire Short Fiction Contest Honorable Mention: “The Ten Headless Dead” by Ian Bassingthwaighte

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 third of three honorable mentions: “The Ten Headless Dead” by Ian Bassingthwaighte. … Read More

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

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

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

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

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Announcing the Winners of Flavorwire’s First Short Fiction Contest

In honor of May’s National Short Story Month, Flavorwire held its first-ever short story contest, and the results are in! After reading through over 900 entries, your crack editorial team has chosen a winner, along with three honorable mentions, all of which will be published on Flavorwire over the next few days. Congratulations to the winners, and many thanks to all who entered. … Read More

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