Studies in Short Fiction

Scholarly journal covers American and British fiction, short stories, and narrative poems through critical essays and book reviews.

Articles from Vol. 34, No. 4, Fall

Acid
ACID by Edward Falco. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1996. vii + 193 pages. $25 cloth; $14.95 paper. I almost never admire the characters in Acid, but I care about them. Edward Falco's characterization is complex and believable,...
Connecting Surfaces: Gertrude Stein's Three Lives, Cubism, and the Metonymy of the Short Story Cycle
In the spring of 1906, during numerous portraiture sittings for Picasso, Gertrude Stein returned home filled with the desire to work on a project of her own. Inspired by the innovative canvases of such twentieth-century painters as Picasso and Matisse,...
"Ditchy" Discovered: Arthur Miller's First Published Short Story
Arthur Miller's first foray into the genre of short fiction is generally supposed to have occurred in April 1946 with the publication in Encore of "The Plaster Masks," a story that owes its impetus to Miller's experience investigating the lives of...
Hard-Boiled: An Anthology of American Crime Stories
HARD-BOILED: AN ANTHOLOGY OF AMERICAN CRIME STORIES, edited by Bill Pronzini and Jack Adrian. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. vii + 532 pages. $25. This collection serves as a reminder that some of the strongest American writing of the...
Hemingway's Puzzling Pursuit Race
When, after an exchange of letters in February 1927, Hemingway asked Archibald MacLeish directly what he thought of "A Pursuit Race," MacLeish replied: My opinion is that I don't like that story.... I thought the first paragraph sounded like...
Katherine Anne Porter's "The Old Order": Writing in the Borderlands
Nervy, glowering, your daughter wipes the teaspoons, grows another way. --Adrienne Rich, "Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law" ... I can eat as I go --Denise Levertov, "Stepping Westward" Katherine Anne Porter is most often--and rightly--thought...
Literary Meaning: Reclaiming the Study of Literature
LITERARY MEANING: RECLAIMING THE STUDY OF LITERATURE by Wendell V. Harris. New York: New York University Press, 1996. 240 pages. $40. As everyone knows, schools of literary criticism are bewildering in their number and diversity, and theoretical...
Micro Fiction: An Anthology of Really Short Stories
MICRO FICTION: AN ANTHOLOGY OF REALLY SHORT STORIES, edited and introduced by Jerome Stern. New York: W. W. Norton, 1996. 141 pages. $22 cloth; $7.95 paper. The very short story--a genre that in the last ten years has given us Short Short Stories...
Misinterpreting the Unreadable: Jack London's "The Chinago" and "The Whale Tooth"
In his tales of the South Seas, Jack London so often employs dark humor and grim irony in order to illuminate the ruthless exploitation of nonwhite people by white capitalist interlopers that, at first reading, "The Chinago" and "The Whale Tooth" seem...
"Miss Leonora When Last Seen": Why Americans Run Away from Home
At the end of a graduate class in American fiction that I taught in Saudi Arabia, one of my students, a Palestinian woman, had a question for me. The class had studied classics, including Huckleberry Finn and Winesburg, Ohio, as well as such contemporary...
Noli Me Tangere: The Structure of Anais Nin's under a Glass Bell
When the firm of Houghton, Mifflin published Sarah Orne Jewett's The Country of the Pointed Firs in 1910, the year following the author's death, it added two chapters to the text that had first appeared in 1896. The publisher added another story to...
Reading Dubliners in the Lost Weekend
Few novels have made the transition from book to screenplay as quickly and successfully as The Lost Weekend, a 1944 narrative by Charles Jackson that was made into a film in time to take several Academy Awards for 1945, including Best Picture, Best...
Samuel Beckett: The Complete Short Prose, 1929-1989
SAMUEL BECKETT: THE COMPLETE SHORT PROSE, 1929-1989, edited and with an introduction and notes by S. E. Gontarski. New York: Grove Press, 1995. xxxii + 294 pages. $23. This is an elegant and valuable work whose premises are impossible. Beckett's...
Somewhere New: New & Selected Stories
SOMEWHERE NEW: NEW & SELECTED STORIES by Michael Wilding. Rockhampton, Queensland: Central Queensland University Press, 1996. 218 pages. Michael Wilding's new collection brings together stories from his first volume, Aspects of the Dying Process,...
Walking the Dog and Other Stories
WALKING THE DOG AND OTHER STORIES by Bernard MacLaverty. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1995. 198 pages. $20. Bernard MacLaverty's fourth collection of stories begins not with a short story but with this vignette: "This is a story with...
Women with Men: Three Stories
WOMEN WITH MEN: THREE STORIES by Richard Ford. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997. 255 pages. $23. Women hardly register in Ernest Hemingway's 1927 collection of stories, Men without Women. When they enter the picture it is more often in men's thoughts...