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This title in other editions

Selected Stories (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics)


Selected Stories (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics) Cover


Synopses & Reviews


These 80 stories displays O. Henry's comic eye and ironic approach to life's realities. These stories are about con men and tricksters, and "innocent" deceivers, about fate, luck and conncidence.

About the Author

William Sydney Porter (1862-1910) published all of his work—a novel and some 300 short stories—under the pseudonym 0. Henry. His talent for vivid caricature, local tone, narrative agility, and compassion tempered by irony made him a vastly popular writer in the last decade of his life. He was born in Greensboro, North Carolina, to ordinary middle-class parents and worked in an uncle’s drugstore as a youth, becoming a certified pharmacist. Like many Southerners after the Civil War, he sought his fortune in the West, holding various jobs (newspaper work, clerking in a land office, a teller at an Austin bank). Charged with embezzlement in 1894, he fled to Honduras, returning in 1897 to be with his ill and dying wife. His conviction was caused more by his eluding trial than by the conflicting evidence of theft. In the Ohio State Penitentiary (1898-1901), he began to write the stories that made him famous. He moved to New York, remarried, and kept his identity a secret from all but a few friends. He is buried in Asheville, North Carolina. He is universally honored for his mastery of the short story and for his humane spirit.

Guy Davenport, a critic and writer of fiction, is best known for two books of essays, The Geography of the Imagination and Every Force Evolves a Form. He has published seven collections of short stories and numerous translations of early Greek poets and playwrights. Now retired, he was a professor of English at the University of Kentucky from 1964 to 1990. He is also a painter and illustrator.

Table of Contents

Selected Stories Introduction

Suggestions for Further Reading

From The Four Million (1906)

The Coming-Out of Maggie

A Service of Love

Between Rounds

An Unfinished Story

After Twenty Years

By Courier

From The Trimmed Lamp (1907)

The Pendulum

The Buyer from Cactus City

Brickdust Row

The Foreign Policy of Company 99

The Count and the Wedding Guest

The Country of Elusion

From Heart of the West (1907)

The Ransom of Mack

The Higher Abdication

A Call Loan

The Princess and the Puma

The Indian Summer of Dry Valley Johnson

The Reformation of Calliope

From The Voice of the City (1908)

The Complete Life of Johns Hopkins

Doughtery's Eye-Opener

While the Auto Waits

The Defeat of the City

The Plutonian Fire

Squaring the Circle

The Fool-Killer

Transients in Arcadia

Extradited from Bohemia

From Each According to His Ability

The Memento

From The Gentle Grafter (1908)

Jeff Peters as a Personal Magnet

Modern Rural Sports

The Man Higher Up

Hostages to Momus

From Roads of Destiny (1909)

The Guardian of the Accolade


A Double-Dyed Deceiver

A Retrieved Reformation

Friends in San Rosario

The Emancipation of Billy

A Departmental Case

The Renaissance at Charleroi

Two Renegades

From Options (1909)

"The Rose of Dixie"

Schools and Schools

Thimble, Thimble

The Moment of Victory

No Story

From Strictly Business (1910)

The Gold That Glittered

The Day Resurgent

The Thing's the Play

A Municipal Report

Proof of the Pudding

The Venturers

From Whirligigs (1910)

The Theory and the Hound

The Ransom of Red Chief

The Whirligig of Life

The Roads We Take

A Blackjack Bargainer

One Dollar's Worth

Madame Bo-Peep, of the Ranches

From Sixes and Sevens (1911)

Witches' Loaves

The Duplicity of Hargraves

October and June

The Church with an Overshot-Wheel

From Rolling Stones (1912)

The Atavism of John Tom Little Bear

The Marquis and Miss Sally

From Waifs and Strays (1917)

Out of Nazareth

Hearts and Hands

Product Details

Davenport, Guy
Davenport, Guy
Henry, O.
O, Henry
Davenport, Guy
Penguin Books
New York, N.Y., U.S.A. :
United states
Short Stories (single author)
American fiction (fictional works by one author)
Short stories
United States Social life and customs Fiction.
United States Social life and customs.
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Penguin Twentieth Century Classics
Series Volume:
no. 1
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
7.66x5.54x1.22 in. .99 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Selected Stories (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 544 pages Penguin Books - English 9780140186888 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , These 80 stories displays O. Henry's comic eye and ironic approach to life's realities. These stories are about con men and tricksters, and "innocent" deceivers, about fate, luck and conncidence.
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