During her many years of teaching introduction to fiction courses, Ann Charters developed an acute sense of which stories work most effectively in the classroom. She also discovered that writers, not editors, have the most interesting and useful things to say about the making and the meaning of fiction. Accordingly, her choice of fiction in the first edition of her The Story and Its Writer was as notable for its student appeal as it was for its quality and range. And to complement these stories, she introduced a lasting innovation: an array of the writers' own commentaries on the craft and traditions of the short story. In subsequent editions her sense of what works was confirmed as the book evolved into the most comprehensive, diverse-- and bestselling -- introduction to fiction anthology. Instructors rely on Ann Charters' ability to assemble an authoritative and teachable anthology, and anticipate each edition's selection of new writers and stories.
PART ONE: STORIES
*Chinua Achebe, Civil Peace
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
*Isabelle Allende, An Act of Vengeance
Sherwood Anderson, Hands
Margaret Atwood, Happy Endings
James Baldwin, Sonny's Blues
Toni Cade Bambara, The Lesson
Russell Banks, Black Man and White Woman in Dark Green Rowboat
Ambrose Bierce, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
*Jorge Luis Borges, The Circular Ruins
*Raymond Carver, Cathedral
*Raymond Carver, Errand
Raymond Carver, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
Willa Cather, Paul's Case
John Cheever, The Swimmer
Anton Chekhov, The Darling [Garnett translation]
Kate Chopin, Désirée's Baby
Kate Chopin, The Story of an Hour
Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
Stephen Crane, The Open Boat
*Junot Diaz, How to Date A Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie
*Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Mrs. Dutta Writes a Letter
Ralph Ellison, Battle Royal
Louise Erdrich, The Red Convertible
William Faulkner, A Rose for Emily
William Faulkner, That Evening Sun
Gabriel García Márquez, A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper
*Nadine Gordimer, Some Are Born to Sweet Delight
Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown
Ernest Hemingway, Hills Like White Elephants
Zora Neale Hurston, Sweat
Shirley Jackson, The Lottery
*Gish Jen, Whose Irish?
Sarah Orne Jewett, A White Heron
*Ha Jin, Saboteur
James Joyce, Araby
James Joyce, The Dead
*Franz Kafka, A Hunger Artist
Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis
Jamaica Kincaid, Girl
*Jhumpa Lahiri, When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine
D. H. Lawrence, The Rocking-Horse Winner
*Katherine Mansfield, The Fly
Bobbie Ann Mason, Shiloh
Guy de Maupassant, The Necklace
Herman Melville, Bartleby, the Scrivener
*Nicholasa Mohr, Tell the Truth
Bharati Mukherjee, The Management of Grief
*Alice Munro, Miles City, Montana
Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried
Flannery O'Connor, Everything That Rises Must Converge
*Flannery O'Connor, Good Country People
Flannery O'Connor, A Good Man Is Hard to Find
*Frank O'Connor, Guests of the Nation
Tillie Olsen, I Stand Here Ironing
*ZZ Packer, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere
Grace Paley, A Conversation with My Father
Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado
Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart
*Katherine Anne Porter, He
*Alifa Rifaat, Distant View of a Minaret
*Leslie Marmon Silko, Yellow Woman
Amy Tan, Two Kinds
Leo Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilych
John Updike, A & P
Alice Walker, Everyday Use
*David Foster Wallace, Incarnations of Burned Children
Eudora Welty, A Worn Path
*Tobias Wolff, Say Yes
Richard Wright, The Man Who Was Almost a Man
PART TWO: COMMENTARIES
Chinua Achebe, An Image of Africa: Conrad's Heart of Darkness
*Sherman Alexie, Superman and Me
Sherwood Anderson, Form, Not Plot, in the Short Story
Margaret Atwood, Reading Blind
James Baldwin, Autobiographical Notes
Russell Banks, Author's Note
Willa Cather, The Stories of Katherine Mansfield
*Ann Charters, Translating Kafka
Anton Chekov, Technique in Writing the Short Story
John Cheever, Why I Write Short Stories
Kate Chopin, How I Stumbled upon Maupassant
*Julio Cortazar, On the Short Story and Its Environs
Stephen Crane, The Sinking of the Commodore
Ralph Ellison, The Influence of Folklore on Battle Royal
William Faulkner, The Meaning of "A Rose for Emily"
Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar, A Feminist Reading of Gilman's" The Yellow Wallpaper"
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Undergoing the Cure for Nervous Prostration
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Why I Wrote "The Yellow Wallpaper"
Zora Neale Hurston, How It Feels to Be Colored Me
Shirley Jackson, The Morning of June 28, 1948, and "The Lottery"
Sarah Orne Jewett, Looking Back on Girlhood
Jamaica Kincaid, On "Girl"
D. H. Lawrence, The Lust of Hate in Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado"
Bobbie Ann Mason, On Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried"
Guy de Maupassant, The Writer's Goal
Herman Melville, Blackness in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown
Alice Munro, How I Write Short Stories
*Joyce Carol Oates, from "Stories that Define Me: The Making of a Writer"
Joyce Carol Oates, Smooth Talk: Short Story into Film
*Frank O'Connor, The Nearest Thing to Lyric Poetry Is the Short Story
Frank O'Connor, Style and Form in Joyce's The Dead
Grace Paley, A Conversation with Ann Charters
Edgar Allan Poe, The Importance of the Single Effect in a Prose Tale
*Leslie Marmon Silko, Language and Literature from a Pueblo Indian Perspective
*Amy Tan, In the Canon, For All the Wrong Reasons
Leo Tolstoy, Chekov's Intent in "The Darling"
*Cheryl B. Torsney, "Everyday Use": My Sojourn at Parchman Farm
John Updike, Kafka and The Metamorphosis
Alice Walker, Zora Neale Hurston: A Cautionary Tale and a Partisan View
Eudora Welty, Is Phoenix Jackson's Grandson Really Dead?
Richard Wright, Reading Fiction
PART THREE: CASEBOOKS
CASEBOOK 1: RAYMOND CARVER
Raymond Carver, On Writing
Raymond Carver, Creative Writing 101
Raymond Carver, The Ashtray
*Raymond Carver, On Errand
*Olga Knipper, Remembering Chekhov
*Henry Troyat, Chekhov's Last Days
*Tom Jenks, The Origin of "Cathedral"
Arthur M. Saltzman, A Reading of What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
A.O. Scott, Looking for Raymond Carver
CASEBOOK 2: FLANNERY O'CONNOR
Flannery O'Connor, From Letters 1954-1955
Flannery O'Connor, Writing Short Stories
Flannery O'Connor, A Reasonable Use of the Unreasonable
*Robert H. Brinkmeyer, Jr., Flannery O'Connor and Her Readers
*Dorothy Tuck McFarland, On Good Country People
*Wayne C. Booth, A Rhetorical Reading of O'Connor's Everything That Rises Must Converge
*Sally Fitzgerald, Southern Sources of "A Good Man Is Hard to Find"
*CASEBOOK 3: GRAPHIC NARRATIVES
*Scott McCloud, from Understanding Comics
*Will Eisner, from "Hamlet on a Rooftop"
*R. Crumb and David Zane Mairowitz, "A Hunger Artist"
*Art Spiegelman, from Maus
*Marjane Satrapi, from Persepolis
*Gilbert Hernandez, "The Mystery Wen"
*Jiro Taniguchi, "A Blanket of Cherry Blossoms"
*Lynda Barry, "Two Questions"
PART FOUR: APPENDICES
*1. READING SHORT STORIES [includes Grace Paley, "Samuel"]
2. THE ELEMENTS OF FICTION
3. BRIEF HISTORY OF THE SHORT STORY
4. WRITING ABOUT SHORT STORIES
*5. LITERARY THEORY AND CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES
6. GLOSSARY OF LITERARY TERMS
7. CHRONOLOGICAL LISTING OF AUTHORS AND STORIES