Five-Star Short Fiction

I think short fiction is one of the greatest types of literature. The compressed stories, intense situations, surprising ironic twists and abrupt finishes are some of the things I love about short stories. They always leave me thinking! Here’s a list of my favorites. What are yours?

a rose for emily pic


“A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner



Best American Short Stories 1993


“An Angel on the Porch” by Thomas Wolfe


Babylon Revisited


“Babylon Revisited” by F. Scott Fitzgerald



Best American Short Stories 1994


“Cold Snap” by Thom Jones

Scribner Anthology big


“Death by Landscape” by Margaret Atwood

Scribner Anthology big


“Gryphon” by Charles Baxter

in the gloaming


“In the Gloaming” by Alice Elliott Dark

Best American Short Stories 1993


“Red Moccasins” by Susan Power

Scribner Anthology big


“Same Place, Same Things” by Tim Gautreaux

the chrysanthemums pic


“The Chrysanthemums” by John Steinbeck

The Horse Dealer's Daughter new


“The Horse Dealer’s Daughter” by D. H. Lawrence

The Most Dangerous Game


“The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell

The Necklace pic

“The Necklace”
by Guy de Maupassant

The Oblong Box


“The Oblong Box” by Edgar Allan Poe

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty new


“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by James Thurber

The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber


“The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber”
by Ernest Hemingway

the joy luck club pic


“Two Kinds” from The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan



I also enjoyed these collected stories by two of the greatest short fiction writers:

Dear Life cover


Dear Life: Stories by Alice Munro







Wilderness Tips by Margaret Atwood



What’s your favorite genre?  Leave a comment and let’s get talking!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

23 thoughts on “Five-Star Short Fiction

  1. An interesting collection here! I tried Alice Munro but really didn’t enjoy them too much despite wanting to. I’ve read many Margert Attwood books so this I will look at. I’ve reread Raymond Carver’s short stories many times and recently Rachel Joyce’s collection of seven short stories in ‘The Snow Garden’. It wa absolutely brilliant.

  2. Great list! I enjoy short stories too, especially interconnected ones. Some favorites are: The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis; Glitter and Glue (memoir) by Kelly Corrigan; The UnAmericans by Molly Antopol

  3. I actually don’t read much short fiction. I just finished Stephen King’s most recent book of short stories because it was a gift from my son. Otherwise I probably wouldn’t have read it. I prefer novels, but I really should dip my toes in the short-story world more.

    1. Well they are my favorite even though I obviously like novels a lot too. I have a hard time wanting to read non fiction, yet when I do I am almost always impressed. Thanks for commenting Carrie!

  4. I’m a huge fan of the short story, especially science fiction. Some of the best short fiction in that genre comes from the 1950s and 60s . Inventive and thought-provoking. I will definitely be looking up some from your list

      1. Hi. There are great annual anthologies of the Hugo and Nebula Award short story winners which are a great place to start. I’ll try and put together a list of some of my favourites!

  5. Nice list, Barb. Thomas Wolfe caught my eye (he was a local here in Asheville and his grave is walking distance from my house, along with O. Henry’s grave — could add “Gift of the Magi” to the list). Love “A Rose for Emily” and “Most Dangerous Game.” One of my favorite short stories, though, is “Young Goodman Brown” by Hawthorne. Here’s a link to an old blog post where I talk about that one.


    1. Awesome, thanks Jeff! I love “Gift of the Magi” too – forgot about that one. I’ve never read “Young Goodman Brown” so I will check out your post. I bet I have it in one of my anthologies. And I like a lot of Poe, just picked my most recent read!

  6. I was never much of a fan of short stories until I read The Stories of John Cheever. It won the Pulizter Prize and deservedly so. It captures New York City and its suburbs in the 1940s and 1950s with such great beauty. You can dip in anywhere and you’ll be hooked, but I can heartily recommend O Youth and Beauty! and The Enormous Radio to start. The stories were inspired by Cheever’s own life, which is chronicled in a great biography by Blake Bailey.

  7. Several good ones on your list, I’ve read The Necklace recently to students. I have spent some time reading Short Stories of the South anthology collections. They are arranged by year, and I have a nice stack of them to get through.

    1. That’s such a good story. Short story anthologies are a really great way to sample authors. I have 3 different ones that I’ve been working my way through. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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