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InThe Oxford Book of American Short Stories, Joyce Carol Oates offers a sweeping survey of American short fiction, in a collection of nearly sixty tales that combines classic works with many "different, unexpected" gems, and that invites readers to explore a wealth of important pieces by women and minority writers. Some selections simply can't be improved on, Oates admits, and she happily includes such time-honored works as Irving's "Rip Van Winkle" and Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart." But alongside these often-anthologized tales, Oates introduces such little-known stories as Mark Twain's "Cannibalism in the Cars," a work that reveals a darker side to his humor. From Melville come the juxtaposed tales "The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids," of which Oates says, "only Melville could have fashioned out of 'real' events...such harrowing and dreamlike allegorical fiction." The reader will also delight in the range of authors found here, from Charles W. Chesnutt, Jean Toomer, and Sarah Orne Jewett, to William Carlos Williams, Kate Chopin, and Langston Hughes, to Ray Bradbury, H.P. Lovecraft, and Stephen King. For the second edition, Oates has introduced a wide range of new stories from writers who represent the state of American literature today. These new works include Lorrie Moore's "How to Become a Writer," Richard Ford's "Under the Radar," Junot Diaz's "Edison, New Jersey," David Foster Wallace's "Good People," Philip Roth's "Novotny's Pain," and Amy Hempel's "Today Will Be a Quiet Day." As in the original volume, Oates provides fascinating introductions to each writer, blending biographical information with her own trenchant observations about their work. In addition, she has written a new introductory essay for this edition, in which she offers the fruit of years of reflection on a genre in which she herself is a master.
Joyce Carol Oates is the National Book Award-winning author of over fifty novels, including bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys, Blonde, and The Gravedigger's Daughter. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University.
Table of Contents
WASHINGTON IRVING (1783-1859) Rip Van Winkle WILLIAM AUSTIN (1778-1841) Peter Rugg, the Missing Man NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE (1804-1864) The Wives of the Dead EDGAR ALLAN POE (1809-1849) The Tell-Tale Heart HARRIET BEECHER STOWE (1811-1896) The Ghost in the Mill HERMAN MELVILLE (1819-1891) The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids SAMUEL CLEMENS (1835-1910) Cannibalism in the Cars HENRY JAMES (1843-1916) The Middle Years SARA H ORNE JEWETT (1849-1909) A White Heron KA TE CHOPIN (1851-1904) The Storm MARY E. WILKINS FREEMAN (1852-1930) Old Woman Magoun CHARLES CHESNUTT (1858-1932) The Sheriff's Children CHARLOTT E PERKINS GILMAN (1860-1935) The Yellow Wallpaper EDITH WHARTON (1862-1937) A Journey STEPHEN CRA NE (1871-1900) The Little Regiment WILLA CATHER (1873-1947) A Death in the Desert SHERWOOD ANDERSON (1876-1941) The Strength of God JACK LONDON (1876-1916) In a Far Country WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS (1883-1963) The Girl with a Pimply Face H. P. LOVECRA FT (1890-1937) The Rats in the Walls JEAN TOOMER (1894-1967) Blood-Burning Moon F. SCOTT FITZGERA LD (1896-1940) An Alcoholic Case WILLIAM FAULKNER (1897-1962) That Evening Sun ERNEST HEMINGWAY (1899-1961) Hills Like White Elephants LANGSTON HUGHES (1902-1967) Red-Headed Baby RICHARD WRIGHT (1908-1960) The Man Who Was Almost a Man NELSON ALGREN (1909-1981) A Bottle of Milk for Mother EUDORA WELTY (1909-2001) Where Is the Voice Coming From? PAUL BOWLES (1910-1999) A Distant Episode JOHN CHEEVER (1912-1982) The Country Husband RA LPH ELLISON (1914-1994) Battle Royal BERNARD MALAMUD (1914-1986) My Son the Murderer SHIRLEY JACKSON (1916-1965) The Lottery RA Y BRA DBURY (b. 1920) There Will Come Soft Rains JAMES BALDWIN (1924-1987) Sonny's Blues FLANNERY O'CONNOR (1925-1964) A Late Encounter with the Enemy CYNTHIA OZICK (b. 1928) The Shawl DONALD BARTHELME (1931-1989) The School JOHN UPDIKE (1932-2009) The Persistence of Desire PHILIP ROTH (b. 1933) Defender of the Faith ANNIE PROULX (b. 1935) The Mud Below RA YMOND CARVER (1938-1988) Are These Actual Miles? JOYCE CAROL OATES (b. 1938) Heat RUSSELL BANKS (b. 1940) The Child Screams and Looks Back at You EDMUND WHITE (b. 1940) Give It Up for Billy RICHARD FORD (b. 1944) Under the Radar TOBIAS WOLFF (b. 1945) Hunters in the Snow TIM O'BRIEN (b. 1946) The Things They Carried STEPHEN KING (b. 1947) The Reach T. C. BOYLE (b. 1948) Filthy with Things AMY HEMPEL (b. 1951) Today Will Be a Quiet Day LOUISE ERDRICH (b. 1954) Fleur JEFFREY FORD (b. 1955) The Drowned Life HA JIN (b. 1956) Children as Enemies LORRIE MOORE (b. 1957) How to Become a Writer DAVID FOSTER WALLACE (1962-2008) Good People PINCKNEY BENEDICT (b. 1964) Mercy JHUMPA LAHIRI (b. 1967) Hell-Heaven JUNOT DÍAZ (b. 1968) Edison, New Jersey