Thematic Guide to Popular Short Stories

Thematic Guide to Popular Short Stories

Thematic Guide to Popular Short Stories

Thematic Guide to Popular Short Stories

Synopsis

Providing easy access to information on nearly 450 short stories, this unique guide surveys a wide spectrum of world literature, canonical works, and contemporary fiction. Librarians and teachers will find multiple purposes for this expertly-compiled resource, which can be employed in much the same way as a standard bibliography. Educators will appreciate the concise annotations, arranged alphabetically by author, that form the core of this work. Insightful critical statements synthesize plot summaries and identify the thematic content of each short story. A theme guide utilizes the nearly 100 theme headings matching those at the start of each entry, allowing the user to quickly locate story titles on related themes and construct reading lists based on individual interests and needs. Another component designed to aid librarians offers one bibliography that lists the anthologies from which the stories are drawn (Works Cited) and one comprised of a number of recent anthologies that can be adapted for the classroom (Further Reading). In addition to the theme index, the general subject and author indexes make this a user-friendly and invaluable resource.

Excerpt

The popularity of short fiction will never succumb to the myriad forms of mass entertainment that assault us daily for one very important reason: in addition to providing a worthwhile experience that creates enjoyment through a synergy of tightly wound prose and plot, these snapshot images— even a narrative such as Plato's “The Death of Socrates,” written more than twenty-three centuries ago—allow us to examine issues whose understanding is vital in today's society. Ann Charters, editor of The Story and Its Writer, a fine, diverse anthology that I have used and admired for years, writes, “Reading short fiction attentively and imaginatively promises further pleasure—the enjoyment of how the storyteller uses language to create that miracle called a work of art.” Implicit in Charters's statement is the notion that underpins this text: The authors of short fiction are the guides who lead us toward the often-neglected or misunderstood truths that we must examine in our own lives—and the lives of those around us: alienation from society and its root causes, minority experience, the relationships between men and women and parents and children (in all the complexity that those glib phrases imply), comings-of-age, violence, women's issues, and a host of other themes.

Thematic Guide to Popular Short Stories provides brief annotations for nearly 450 short stories—some of which you may know well, and others not at all—that will allow students and teachers alike to appreciate and build upon the reading experience, regardless of the reasons for examining the . . .

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