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An Introduction to Fiction

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  • Edition: 11th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-09-21
  • Publisher: PEARSO

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Kennedy/Gioia's An Introduction to Fiction, 11th edition continues to inspire students with a rich collection of fiction and engaging insights on reading, analyzing, and writing about stories.

This bestselling anthology includes sixty-five superlative short stories, blending classic works and contemporary selections. Written by noted poets X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia, the text reflects the authors' wit and contagious enthusiasm for their subject. Informative, accessible apparatus presents readable discussions of the literary devices, illustrated by apt works, and supported by interludes with the anthologized writers.

This edition features 10 new stories, three masterwork casebooks, revised and expanded chapters on writing, and a new design.

-New “Key Terms Review” feature at the end of every major chapter—provide students a simple study guide to go over key concepts and terms in each chapter.

-New 2009 MLA guidelines—provides students the updated source citation guidelines from the new 7th edition of the MLA Handbook and incorporates these in all sample student papers.

-New section on “Writing a Response Paper”—provides instructions and a sample student essay for this popular type of writing assignment.

-Updated, revised format to increase accessibility and ease of use—newly added section titles and sub-titles will help Web-oriented students navigate easily from topic to topic in every chapter. Additionally, all chapters have been reviewed and updated to include relevant cultural references.

The Introduction to Fiction is an excellent anthology written by one of the best poets of this generation and one of the best poets of the older generation. Kennedy's years of experience in the literary world, and his years of experience writing for children, and Gioia's take on literature from outside the world of academia have given this anthology an ease of understanding.

For everyone wishing to delight in the study of short fiction.

Author Biography

X. J. Kennedy , after graduation from Seton Hall and Columbia, became a journalist second class in the Navy (“Actually, I was pretty eighth class”). His poems, some published in the New Yorker, were first collected in Nude Descending a Staircase (1961). Since then he has written six more collections, several widely adopted literature and writing textbooks, and seventeen books for children, including two novels. He has taught at Michigan, North Carolina (Greensboro), California (Irvine), Wellesley, Tufts, and Leeds. Cited in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations and reprinted in some 200 anthologies, his verse has brought him a Guggenheim fellowship, a Lamont Award, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, an award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, an Aiken-Taylor prize, the Robert Frost Medal of the Poetry Society of America, and the Award for Poetry for Children from the National Council of Teachers of English. He now lives in Lexington, Massachusetts, where he and his wife Dorothy have collaborated on four books and five children.


Dana Gioia is a poet, critic, and teacher. Born in Los Angeles of Italian and Mexican ancestry, he attended Stanford and Harvard before taking a detour into business. (“Not many poets have a Stanford M.B.A., thank goodness!”) After years of writing and reading late in the evenings after work, he quit a vice presidency to write and teach. He has published three collections of poetry, Daily Horoscope (1986), The Gods of Winter (1991), and Interrogations at Noon (2001), which won the American Book Award; an opera libretto, Nosferatu (2001); and three critical volumes, including Can Poetry Matter? (1992), an influential study of poetry’s place in contemporary America. Gioia has taught at Johns Hopkins, Sarah Lawrence, Wesleyan (Connecticut), Mercer, and Colorado College.


He is also the co-founder of the summer poetry conference at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. From 2003-2009 he served as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. At the NEA he created the largest literary programs in federal history, including Shakespeare in American Communities and Poetry Out Loud, the national high school poetry recitation contest. He also led the campaign to restore active and engaged literary reading by creating The Big Read, which has helped reverse a quarter century of decline in U.S. reading. He currently divides his time between Washington, D.C. and Santa Rosa, California, living with his wife Mary, their two sons, and two uncontrollable cats.

Table of Contents


To the Instructor  

About the Authors  


** Indicates new selections




Interview with Amy Tan


1. Reading a Story  

The Art of Fiction

Types of Short Fiction

    W. Somerset Maugham, The Appointment in Samarra  

    Aesop, The North Wind and the Sun  

    ** Bidpai, The Tortoise and the Geese

    Chuang Tzu, Independence  

    Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm, Godfather Death   


The Short Story 

    John Updike, A & P  

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing 

    John Updike, Why Write? 

Thinking About Plot

Checklist: Writing About Plot

Writing Assignment on Plot  

More Topics for Writing  

Terms for Review 


2. Point of View  

Identifying Point of View

Types of Narrators

Stream of Consciousness

    William Faulkner, A Rose for Emily  

    Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart

    ** Virginia Woolf, A Haunted House

    ** Eudora Welty, Why I Live at the P. O.

    James Baldwin, Sonny’s Blues  

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

    James Baldwin, Race and the African American Writer  

Thinking About Point of View

Checklist: Writing About Point of View

Writing Assignment on Point of View  

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review


3. Character

Types of Characters

    Katherine Anne Porter, The Jilting of Granny Weatherall  

    Katherine Mansfield, Miss Brill  

    ** Naguib Mahfouz, The Lawsuit 

    Raymond Carver, Cathedral  

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing  

    Raymond Carver, Commonplace but Precise Language  

Thinking About Character

Checklist: Writing About Character

Writing Assignment on Character

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review


4. Setting  

Elements of Setting

Historical Fiction



    Kate Chopin, The Storm  

    Jack London, To Build a Fire  

    T. Coraghessan Boyle, Greasy Lake  

    Amy Tan, A Pair of Tickets  

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing  

    Amy Tan, Setting the Voice  

Thinking About Setting

Checklist: Writing About Setting

Writing Assignment on Setting

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review


5. Tone and Style  




    Ernest Hemingway, A Clean, Well-Lighted Place  

    William Faulkner, Barn Burning  


    O. Henry, The Gift of the Magi  

    Ha Jin, Saboteur  

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing  

    Ernest Hemingway, The Direct Style  

Thinking About Tone and Style

Checklist: Writing About Tone and Style

Writing Assignment on Tone and Style

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review


6. Theme  

Plot vs. Theme

Theme as Unifying Device

Finding the Theme

    Stephen Crane, The Open Boat  

    Alice Munro, How I Met My Husband  

    Luke 15:11–32, The Parable of the Prodigal Son  

    Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Harrison Bergeron  

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing  

    Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., The Themes of Science Fiction  

Thinking About Theme

Checklist: Writing about Theme

Writing Assignment on Theme

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review


7. Symbol  



Recognizing Symbols

    John Steinbeck, The Chrysanthemums  

    ** John Cheever, The Swimmer

    Ursula K. Le Guin, The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas  

    Shirley Jackson, The Lottery  

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing  

    Shirley Jackson, Biography of a Story  

Thinking About Symbols

Checklist: Writing About Symbols

Writing Assignment on Symbols  

    Student Paper, An Analysis of the Symbolism in Steinbeck’s “The Chrysanthemums”  

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review


8. Reading Long Stories and Novels  

Origins of the Novel


Novels and Journalism

Short Novels and Novellas

The Future of the Novel

    Leo Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilych  

    Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis  

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing  

    Franz Kafka, Discussing The Metamorphosis  

Thinking About Long Stories and Novels

Checklist: Writing About Ideas for a Research Paper

Writing Assignment for a Research Paper

Student Paper, Kafka’s Greatness

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review


9. Latin American Fiction 

    Jorge Luis Borges, The Gospel According to Mark  

    Octavio Paz, My Life with the Wave  

    ** Gabriel García Márquez, A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings  

    ** Inés Arredondo, The Shunammite   

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing  

    Gabriel García Márquez, My Beginnings As A Writer

Topics for Writing on “The Gospel According to Mark”  

Topics for Writing on “My Life with Wave”  

Topics for Writing on “a very old man with enormous wings”  

Topics for Writing on “The Shunammite”  


10. Critical Casebook: Flannery O’Connor  

    Flannery O’Connor, A Good Man Is Hard to Find  

    Flannery O’Connor, Revelation  

    Flannery O’Connor, Parker’s Back  

    Flannery O’Connor on Writing

    From “On Her Own Work”  

    On Her Catholic Faith

    From “The Grotesque in Southern Fiction”  

Yearbook Cartoons

Critics on Flannery O’Connor

    J. O. Tate, A Good Source Is Not So Hard to Find: The Real Life Misfit  

    Mary Jane Schenck, Deconstructing “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”  

    Louise S. Cowann The Character of Mrs. Turpin in “Revelation”  

    Kathleen Feeley, The Mystery of Divine Direction: “Parker’s Back”  

Writing Effectively

Topics for Writing  


11. Critical Casebook: Three Stories in Depth  

Nathaniel Hawthorne

    Young Goodman Brown 

    ** Nathaniel Hawthorne on Writing

    ** Reflections on Truth and Clarity in Literature

    ** Criticizing His Own Work

Critics on Hawthorne

    ** Herman Melville, Excerpt from a Review of “Mosses from and Old Manse”

    ** Edgar Allan Poe, The Genius of Hawthorne's Short Stories

Critics on “Young Goodman Brown”

    ** Richard H. Fogle, Ambiguity in “Young Goodman Brown”

    ** Paul J. Hurley, Evil Wherever He Looks

    ** Nancy Bunge, Complacency and Community


Charlotte Perkins Gilman  

    The Yellow Wallpaper 

    Charlotte Perkins Gilman on Writing

    Why I Wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper”  

    Whatever Is  

    The Nervous Breakdown of Women  

Critics on “The Yellow Wallpaper”

    Juliann Fleenor, Gender and Pathology in “The Yellow Wallpaper”  

    Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar, Imprisonment and Escape: The Psychology of Confinement  

    Elizabeth Ammons, Biographical Echoes in “The Yellow Wallpaper”  


Alice Walker  

    Everyday Use

    Alice Walker on Writing

    The Black Woman Writer in America  

    Reflections on Writing and Women's Lives

Critics on “Everyday Use”

    Barbara T. Christian, “Everyday Use” and the Black Power Movement  

    Houston A. Baker and Charlotte Pierce-Baker, Stylish vs. Sacred in “Everyday Use”  

    Elaine Showalter, Quilt as Metaphor in “Everyday Use”  

Writing Effectively

Topics for Writing on “Young goodman brown”  

Topics for Writing on “The Yellow Wallpaper”  

Topics for Writing on “Everyday Use”  


12. Stories for Further Reading  

Chinua Achebe, Dead Men’s Path  

** Sherman Alexie, This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

Margaret Atwood, Happy Endings  

Ambrose Bierce, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge  

Willa Cather, Paul’s Case  

Anton Chekhov, The Lady with the Pet Dog  

Kate Chopin, The Story of an Hour  

Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street  

Ralph Ellison, Battle Royal  

Zora Neale Hurston, Sweat  

James Joyce, Araby  

** Franz Kafka, Before the Law  

Jamaica Kincaid, Girl  

Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies  

D. H. Lawrence, The Rocking-Horse Winner  

Bobbie Ann Mason, Shiloh  

** Lorrie Moore, How To Become A Writer

Joyce Carol Oates, Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?  

Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried  

Tillie Olsen, I Stand Here Ironing  

Tobias Wolff, The Rich Brother  


13. Writing about Literature

    Read Actively

        Robert Frost, NOTHING GOLD CAN STAY

    Plan Your Essay

    Discover Your Ideas

        Sample Student Prewriting Exercises

    Developing a Literary Argument

    Writing a Rough Draft

        Sample Student Paper (Rough Draft)

    Revise Your Draft

    Some Final Advice on Rewriting

    Document Sources to Avoid Plagiarism

    The Form of Your Finished Paper

    Spell-Check and Grammar Check Programs



14. Writing About a Story

    Read Actively

    Think About the Story

    Discover Ideas

        Sample Student Prewriting Exercises

    Write a Rough Draft

    What’s Your Purpose? Common Approaches to Writing about Fiction

    Topics for Writing


 15. Writing a Research Paper

    Browse the Research

    Choose a Topic

    Begin Your Research

    Evaluate Sources

    Organize Your Research

    Refine Your Thesis

    Organize Your Paper

    Write and Revise

    Maintain Academic Integrity

    Acknowledge All Sources

    Documenting Sources Using MLA Style

    Reference Guide for Citation


16.  Critical Approaches to Literature

    Formalist Criticism

    Biographical Criticism

    Historical Criticism

    Psychological Criticism

    Mythological Criticism

    Sociological Criticism

    Gender Criticism

    Reader-Response Criticism

    Deconstructionist Criticism

    Cultural Studies


Terms for Review



Photo Acknowledgements

Index of Major Themes

Index of Authors and Titles

Index of Literary Terms

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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