There is no rhyme or reason, no theme or genre, no poll or opinions, just one man’s list displaying often celebrated and interesting short stories. Junot Diaz put together the best American short stories a couple of years ago if you would be more interested in a Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s list. Who could blame you? Take a look at my list of top 10 short stories.
Neil Gaiman told us short stories are like tiny windows into other worlds. They can take us on journeys but have us back in time for dinner.
Oh, by the way, try writing your short stories backward. Start with the big twist and work to the beginning. Always have fun. There is only one you and there is only right now.
Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut
An interesting little story that makes you think deeply about society’s trouble with difference and fears of what is not understood and what can happen if the basic structure of difference is meddled with. Sci-fi in nature and dystopian in environment Harrison is a cautionary tale that we all hope is unnecessary because of the ridiculousness of such a state.
The Looking Glass by Anton Chekhov
One story that fits into the class that leads one to think ‘be careful what you wish for’
A nicely short but fast-paced story that I struggle to walk by without reading it in full. I truly love his transition from one to the other reality. Leading to her living or somehow experiencing that other reality
The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway
Probably Hemingway’s best work. It is the story of a man who has done a lot of living but hasn’t accomplished much. Making his way by marrying rich women and trying but failing to be the writer he always felt he could be led to his disappointment with life. With his hunting and adventurous life mirroring his own it is safe to state Hemingway wrote a lot of himself into this man ‘Harry’
Maybe even the great ones think their work isn’t as it should be.