The American Short Story: A Selective Chronology



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l74l -- First American magazines appear: Andrew Bradford's American Magazine and Benjamin Franklin's General Magazine, and Historical Chronicle.

l789 -- Beginnings of short fiction in American magazines: "Azakia: A Canadian Story" in Monthly Miscellany and Vermont Magazine, "The Story of the Captain's Wife and an Aged Woman" in Gentleman and Lady's Town and Country Magazine 6 (Oct-Nov).

l8l5 -- The North American Review established. l8l9 -- Washington Irving's The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. published serially in the United States, and in volume form (l820) in England.

l82l -- The Saturday Evening Post established. l822 -- Irving's Bracebridge Hall: or, The Humorists published in England.

l824 -- Irving's Tales of a Traveller published in England.

l830-1865 -- Romantic Period

l830-2 -- Nathaniel Hawthorne's earliest tales ("Provincial Tales" and "Seven Tales of My Native Land") published individually in Token, Salem Gazette, and Atlantic Souvenir.

l832 -- Edgar Allan Poe's first tale ("Metzengerstein") published in the Philadelphia Saturday Courier.

l833 -- William Gilmore Simms' The Book of My Lady published in Philadelphia.

l833-5 -- Hawthorne's "The Story Teller" published piecemeal in New England Magazine. Augustus B. Longstreet's Georgia Scenes published in Augusta, Georgia (1835).

l836-8 -- Poe edits Southern Literary Messenger, reviews short fiction (inc. Longstreet).

l837 -- Hawthorne's Twice-Told Tales published in Boston.

l840 -- Poe's Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque published by Lea & Blanchard; The Dial est. by Poe.

l842 -- 2nd edition of Twice-Told Tales published by Monroe, reviewed by Poe in Graham's Magazine (where Poe defined the short story).

l842-7 -- Early anthologies of American literature published, including The Prose Writers of America.

l843 -- Poe's The Prose Romances of Edgar Allan Poe published by William Graham.

l845 -- William T. Porter's The Big Bear of Arkansas, and Other Sketches published by Carey & Hart; Simm's The Wigwam and the Cabin published; Poe's 3rd collection, Tales, published by Wiley & Putnam; Johnson Jones Hooper's collection, Some Adventures of Captain Simon Suggs, published by Carey & Hart.

l846 -- Hawthorne's Mosses from an Old Manse published by Ticknor & Fields, reviewed by Poe in "Tale Writing--Nathaniel Hawthorne," for Godey's Lady's Book in l847; Thomas Bangs Thorpe's lst collection, Mysteries of the Backwoods, published by Carey & Hart.

l847 -- Porter's A Quarter Race in Kentucky, and Other Sketches published by Carey & Hart.

l850 -- Herman Melville's review/essay, "Hawthorne and his Mosses," appears in the Literary World (l7 and 24 of August); Henry Clay Lewis' collection, Odd Leaves from the Life of a Louisiana Swamp Doctor, published by A. Hart of Philadelphia; Harper's Magazine established.

l856 -- Melville's The Piazza Tales (inc. "Bartleby the Scrivener," "Benito Cereno," and "The Encantadas") published.

l857 -- Atlantic Monthly established.


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l865-1900 -- Realistic Period

l865 -- The Nation established; Mark Twain's "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" published in the New York Saturday Press; published with other stories in l867.

l868 -- Bret Harte's "The Luck of Roaring Camp" appears in the August Overland Monthly.

l869 -- Harte's "The Outcasts of Poker Flat" appears in January Overland Monthly, after which Harte moves to Boston to be a contributing editor for Atlantic Monthly; his stories are collected in Sandy Bar, & Co. (l873).

l879 -- The first Uncle Remus story appears in the Atlanta Constitution; in l88l the stories are collected in Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings; in l883 came Nights with Uncle Remus, and later Uncle Remus and His Friends (l892), and Told by Uncle Remus (l905).

l883 -- Ladies Home Journal established--as a LITERARY magazine.

l886 -- Scribner's Magazine established.

l89l -- Hamlin Garland's Main Travelled Roads is published.

l892 -- The Yale Review established; Ambrose Bierce's In the Midst of Life is published.

l893 -- Henry James publishes The Real Thing and Other Tales; The Lark established.

l894 -- The Chap Book established; Kate Chopin's Bayou Folk.

l898 -- Stephen Crane's The Open Boat, and Other Tales of Adventure.


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l900-l9l0 -- Naturlistic Period

l900 -- Twain's The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other Stories and Jack London's The Son of the Wolf: Tales of the Far North; James' The Soft Side.

l90l -- Edith Wharton's collection, Crucial Instances, is published.

l903 -- James' The Better Sort is published.

l904 -- Wharton's The Descent of Man and Other Stories is published.

l905 -- Willa Cather's The Troll Garden (inc. "Paul's Case") is published.

l906 -- O. Henry's The Four Million (inc. "The Gift of the Magi") appears.

l907 -- London's Love of Life.


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l9l0-l945 -- Period of Modernism

l9l0 -- James' The Finer Grain appears.

l9l5 -- Edward J. O'Brien begins publishing the Best American Short Stories annual series.

l9l6 -- Wharton's Xingu and Other Stories.

l9l7 -- Ring Lardner's Gullible's Travels.

l9l8 -- Theodore Dreiser's Free and Other Stories.

l9l9 -- O. Henry Award anthology begins; Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio, and The Triumph of the Egg (inc. "I Want to Know Why") is published in l92l.

l920 -- F. Scott Fitzgerald's Flappers and Philosophers, followed by Tales of the Jazz Age in l922.

l923 -- Ellen Glasgow's The Shadowy Third and Other Stories; Jean Toomer's Cane.

l924 -- Lardner's How to Write Stories (inc. "Some Like Them Cold").

l925 -- Ernest Hemingway's In Our Time (inc. "Big Two-Hearted River"); The New Yorker established; Conrad Aiken's Bring! Bring!.

l926 -- Fitzgerald's All the Sad Young Men; Lardner's The Love Nest and Other Stories.

l927 -- Hemingway's Men Without Women (inc. "The Killers").

l929 -- The Best of O. Henry; Lardner's Round Up.

l930 -- Kay Boyle's Wedding Day and Other Stories

l932 -- Cather's Obscure Destinies (inc. "Neighbor Rossicky").

l933 -- Anderson's Death in the Woods and Other Stories; Hemingway's Winner Take Nothing (inc. "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place").

l934 -- William Faulkner's Doctor Martino; James T. Farrell's Calico Shoes; Conrad Aiken's Among the Lost People; William Saroyan's The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze; Langston Hughes' The Way of White Folks.

l935 -- Erskine Caldwell's Kneel to the Rising Sun; Katherine Anne Porter's Flowering Judas and Other Stories; John O'Hara's The Doctor's Son and Other Stories; Thomas Wolfe's From Death to Morning; Sinclair Lewis' Selected Short Stories; Fitzgerald's Taps at Reveille (inc. "Babylon Revisited").

l936 -- Wharton's The World Over (inc. "Roman Fever"); Conrad Richter's The Rawhide Knot and Other Stories.

l938 -- John Steinbeck's The Long Valley (inc. "The Chrysanthemums"; Richard Wright's Uncle Tom's Children; Faulkner's The Unvanquished; Hemingway's The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories (inc. "Macomber," "Snows of Kilimanjaro").

l939 -- Porter's Pale Horse, Pale Rider; Dorothy Parker's Here Lies: The Collected Stories; The Kenyon Review established.

l94l -- Eudora Welty's A Curtain of Green and Other Stories (inc. "A Worn Path"); Wolfe's The Hills Beyond.

l942 -- Faulkner's Go Down, Moses (inc. "The Bear"); Thurber's My Life and Welcome to It (inc. "Walter Mitty"); James T. Farrell's $l000 A Week and Other Stories.

l943 -- John Cheever's The Way Some People Live; Dashiel Hammett's The Adventures of Sam Spade and Other Stories. Cleanth Brooks & Robert Penn Warren's Understanding Fiction changes the way short stories are read/taught.

l944 -- Porter's The Leaning Tower and Other Stories; Raymond Chandler's Five Murderers; Farrell's To Whom It May Concern.


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l945-l963 -- Postwar Period

l945 -- The Thurber Carnival appears.

l946 -- Boyle's Thirty Stories; The Best Short Stories of Wilbur Daniel Steele.

l948 -- James Michener's Tales of the South Pacific wins the Pulitzer Prize.

l949 -- Shirley Jackson's The Lottery, or the Adventures of James Harris, whose title story was published in The New Yorker and elicited the largest reader response in the magazine's history to date.

l950 -- Faulkner's Collected Stories; William Carlos Williams' Make Light of It: Collected Stories.

l95l -- Carson McCullers' The Ballad of the Sad Cafe and Other Stories; The Collected Stories of William Faulkner wins the second National Book Award.

l952 -- The Paris Review founded, with offices in Paris and New York--begins series of interviews with major writers.

l953 -- Cheever's The Enormous Radio and Other Stories; J. D. Salinger's Nine Stories.

l955 -- Flannery O'Connor's A Good Man is Hard to Find.

l957 -- Isaac Bashevis Singer's Gimpel the Fool and Other Stories; Bernard Malamud's The Magic Barrel (winner, Nat. Book Award).

l959 -- Philip Roth's Goodbye, Columbus and Five Short Stories (winner, NBA); Grace Paley's The Little Disturbances of Man.

l960 -- Story magazine revived by Whit and Hallie Burnett (after being founded in Vienna by Burnett and Martha Foley); The Collected Short Stories of Conrad Aiken; O'Connor's The Violent Bear It Away.

1961--Tillie Olsen's Tell Me a Riddle (inc. "I Stand Here Ironing").

l962 -- O'Connor's Wise Blood; John Updike's Pigeon Feathers and Other Stories.


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l963-l980 -- "Confessional" Period

l963 -- Frank O'Connor's The Lonely Voice, a study of the short story (though O'Connor was Irish, he is listed here because The Atlantic Monthly published his first story in l93l and encouraged him.

l965 -- Porter's Collected Short Stories wins the NBA; James Baldwin's collected stories published as Going to Meet the Man; Martha Foley takes over editorship of the annual Best short story series.

1966 -- The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter wins the National Book Award.

l968 -- Kurt Vonnegut's Welcome to the Monkey House.

l969 -- Collected Stories of Jean Stafford (wins the Pulitzer Prize the following year).

l970 -- The O. Henry annual short story anthology continues under the direction of William Abrahams; the lst Iowa Short Fiction (Book) Award goes to Cyrus Colter for The Beach Umbrella; Donald Barthelme's City Life; Updike's Bech: A Book.

l97l -- The Complete Short Stories of Flannery O'Connor (posthumous); Cynthia Ozick's The Pagan Rabbi.

l972 -- Hemingway's The Nick Adams Stories (posthumous); Toni Cade Bambara's Gorilla, My Love; The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor wins the National Book Award.

1974 -- Isaac Bashevis Singer wins the National Book Award for A Crown of Feathers and Other Stories.

l975 -- Russell Banks' Searching for Survivors is among the first manuscripts published by the Fiction Collective.

l973 -- Alice Walker, In Love and Trouble: Stories of Black Women; Bill Henderson establishes Pushcart Press, which soonafter will begin publishing annual anthologies of the best short fiction and poetry to appear in small literry magazines.

l977 -- Writing in General and the Short Story in Particular, by Esquire fiction editor Rust Hills; Eudora Welty's criticism in The Eye of the Story; Raymond Carver's Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?; Toni Cade Bambara's The Sea Birds are Still Alive; Walker's You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down.

l978 -- Elbow Room: Stories, by James Alan Mcpherson, wins the Pulitzer Prize; Singer wins the Nobel Prize for his life's work in the short story genre; Ann Beattie's New Yorker stories collected in Secrets and Surprises.

l979 -- Beattie's The Burning House; Updike's Too Far To Go collects his Maples stories into a first-edition paperback; The Stories of John Cheever wins the Pulitzer Prize (and the National Book Award two years later for the paperback version).


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l980-? -- Postmodern Period

l980 -- The Collected Short Stories of Eudora Welty; Frank O'Connor's Collected Short Stories.

l98l -- Carver's What We Talk About When We Talk About Love; David Bosworth's The Death of Descartes wins the lst Drue Heinz Prize (Univ. of Pittsburgh); David Walton's Evening Out wins the lst Flannery O'Connor Award (Univ. of Georgia); Walker's You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down.

l982 -- Tobias Wolff's In the Garden of North American Martyrs; Joy Williams' Taking Care; Bobbie Ann Mason's Shiloh and Other Stories.

l983 -- John Gardner's The Art of Fiction becomes a how-to text; Cynthia Ozick's Art & Ardor; Simon Ortiz' Fightin'; Carver's Fires (essays on craft, stories, poems); Jamaica Kincaid's At the Bottom of the River (inc. "Girl"); Elizabeth Tallent's In Constant Flight.

l984 -- Carver's Cathedral; Welty writes about writing in One Writer's Beginnings; Ellen Gilchrist wins the American Book Award for Victory Over Japan: A Book of Stories.

l985 -- Bob Shacochis' Easy in the Islands wins the American Book Award; Sharon Sheehe Stark's The Dealer's Yard and Other Stories; Robley Wilson's Dancing for Men; Alice Adams' Return Trips; T.C. Boyle's Greasy Lake.

l986 -- Beattie's Where You'll Find Me; Wolff's Back in the World; Peter Meinke's The Piano Tuner; Thomas McGuane's To Skin a Cat; Cynthia Ozick wins the first Rea Award for the Short Story

l987 -- Updike's Trust Me; Richard Ford's Rock Springs; Tallent's Time with Children.

l988 -- Carver's Where I'm Calling From (posthumous); Williams' Breaking and Entering.

l989 -- Shacochis' The Next New World; T. Coraghessan Boyle's If the River Was Whiskey; Mason's Love Life (inc. "Big Bertha Stories"; The Collected Short Stories of Harry Mark Petrakis; F&W Publications (Writer's Digest) begins publishing Whit Burnett and Martha Foley's Story magazine, defunct for many years; Jimmy Buffett's Tales from Margaritaville (Pop goes the short story); Mark Richard's The Ice at the Bottom of the World wins the Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award; The Forty Stories of Donald Barthelme; Ozick's The Shawl.

l990 -- Stuart Dybek's The Coast of Chicago; Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried; Wilson's Terrible Kisses; Steven Millhauser's The Barnum Museum.

l99l -- Beattie's What Was Mine; Linda Burmeister Davies and Susan Burmeister-Brown establish Glimmer Train Stories at a time when the paying market for short stories was dwindling; Homesick: New and Selected Stories by Lucia Berlin wins the American Book Award.

1993--Tallent's Honey.

1996--Wolff's The Night in Question; Ha Jin's Ocean of Words wins the PEN/Hemingway Award; Andrea Barrett wins the American Book Award for Ship Fever and Other Stories.

1997--Jin's Under the Red Flag wins the Flannery O'Connor Award; Gina Berriault wins the PEN/Faulkner Award for Women in Their Beds: New and Selected Stories.

1998--Midnight Magic: Selected Stories of Bobbie Ann Mason.

2000--Updike's Licks of Love (inc. "Rabbit Remembered"); Jin's The Bridegroom.

2001--Updike's The Complete Henry Bech published; Stories, by Russell Charles Leong, wins the American Book Award, while Tillie Olsen receives one for Lifetime Achievement.

2003--Updike's The Early Stories, 1953-1975 wins the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction; Alejandro Murguia's This War Called Love: Nine Stories wins the American Book Award.

2005--Chinese immigrant Yiyun Li wins the first Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award for A Thousand Years of Good Prayers.


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Of Critical Interest (some entries incomplete--sorry!):

Allen, Walter. The Short Story in English, 1981.

Aycock, Wendell M. (ed). The Teller and the Tale: Aspects of the Short Story (1982)

Bal, Mieke. Narratology: Introduction to the Theory of Narrative. Christine van Boheemen, trans. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 1985.

Barthelme, Frederick, ed. Mississippi Review: About the Short Story Vol. 21: 1 & 2 (Spring 1993). Hattiesburg, Mississippi: The Univ. of Southern Mississippi.

Bates, H.E. The Modern Short Story: A Critical Survey, 1950. (out of print)

Baxter, Charles. Burning Down the House: Essays on Fiction. St. Paul, Minn.: Graywolf Press, 1997.

Bloom, Harold, ed. Short Story Writers and Short Stories. New York: Chelsea House, 2005.

Church, Margaret and William T. Stafford, eds. Modern Fiction Studies: Experimental Fiction Vol. 20: 3 (Autumn 1974). West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue Univ.

- - - - -. Modern Fiction Studies: The Modern Short Story Vol. 28: 1 (Spring 1982). West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue Univ.

Cohan, Steven and Linda M. Shires. Telling Stories: A Theoretical Analysis of Narrative Fiction. New York and London: Routledge, 1988.

Current-Garcia, Eugene, ed. The American Short Story Before Eighteen Fifty: A Critical History. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1985.

- - - - -. What Is the Short Story?, ed. with Walton R. Patrick, 1961. (out of print).

Dällenbach, Lucien. The Mirror in the Text. Trans. by Jeremy Whiteley with Emma Hughes. University of Chicago Press, 1989.

Delbanco, Nicholas, ed. Michigan Quarterly Review: Contemporary American Fiction, Pts. 1 & 2 Vol. 26: 4 (Fall 1987) and Vol. 27: 1 (Winter 1988). Ann Arbor, Michigan: Univ. of Michigan.

Garland, Susan. The Short Story Cycle: A Genre Companion and Reference Guide. Greenwood Press, 1988.

Gelfant, Blanche H., ed. The Columbia Companion to the Twentieth-Century American Short Story. Columbia University Press, 2004.

Gerlach, John. Toward the End: Closure and Structure in the American Short Story. University, Alabama: Univ. of Alabama Press, 1985.

Goodman, Henry, ed. Creating the Short Story. New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1929.

Hanson, Clare. Rereading the Short Story. 1989.

- - - - -. Short Stories and Short Fictions, 1880-1980, 1985.

Harbison, Robert. Pharoh's Dream: The Secret Life of Stories. London: Secker & Warburg, 1988.

Lee, A. Robert. The Nineteenth-Century American Short Story. London and Totawa, New Jersey: Vision and Barnes & Noble, 1985.

Lohafer, Susan. Coming to Terms with the Short Story. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana State Univ. Press, 1983.

- - - - -. Reading for Storyness: Preclosure Theory. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003.

- - - - -. and Jo Ellyn Clarey (eds). Short Story Theory at the Crossroads, 1989.

Mann, Susan Garland. The Short Story Cycle: A Genre Companion and Reference Guide, 1988.

May, Charles E., ed. Short Story Theories. Athens, Ohio: Ohio Univ. Press, 1987.

- - - - -. The New Short Story Theories. Athens, Ohio: Ohio Univ. Press, 1994.

- - - - -. The Short Story: The Reality of Artifice. Routledge, 2002.

- - - - -. Studies in Literary Themes and Genres Series: The Short Story. New York: Twayne, 1995.

McClave, Heather. Introduction to Women Writers of the Short Story, 1980.

Nagel, James. The Contemporary American Short-Story Cycle: The Ethnic Resonance of Genre. Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 2001.

O'Brien, Edward J. The Advance of the American Short Story (1923, reprinted 1966 by Scholarly Books)

O'Connor, Frank. The Lonely Voice: A Study of the Short Story, 1963. (out of print)

O'Faoláin, Sean. The Short Story, 1948. (out of print)

Pattee, Fred Lewis. The Development of the American Short Story: An Historical Survey. New York: Biblo and Tannen, 1975. (out of print)

Peden, William. The American Short Story: Front Line in the National Defense of Literature, 1964 (out of print)

Rabkin, Eric S. Narrative Suspense. Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan, 1973.

Ross, Danforth. The American Short Story. Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota, 1961.

Shaw, Valerie. The Short Story: A Critical Introduction, 1983.

Stafford, William T., ed. Modern Fiction Studies: Narrative Theory Vol. 33: 3 (Autumn 1987). West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue Univ.

Stevens, Michael. The Dramaturgy of Style: Voice in Short Fiction, 1986.

Stevick, Philip (ed). The American Short Story, 1900-1945, 1984

Stummer, Peter O. (ed). The Story Must Be Told: Short Narrtive Prose in the New English Literatures, 1986.

Tanner, Ron, ed. The Cream City Review: Special Fiction Issue Vol. 13: 1 (Winter 1989). Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Thursdon, Jarvis et al. Short Fiction Criticism: A Checklist of Interpretations Since 1925 of Stories and Novelettes (American, British, Continental), 1800-1958, 1960 (out of print)

Voss, Arthur. The American Short Story: A Critical Survey. Norman: Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 1980.

Walker, Warren S. Twentieth-Century Short Story Explication: Interpretations, 1900-1975, of Short Fictions Since 1800, 3rd ed., 1977.

Weaver, Gordon (ed). The American Short Story, 1945-1980, 1983.

Weixlmann, Joe. American Short-Fiction Criticism and Scholarship, 1959-1977: A Checklist. Athens, Ohio: Swallow Press/Ohio Univ. Press, 1985.

West, Jr., Ray B. The Short Story in America, 1900-1950, 1952. (out of print)

Wright, Austin M. The American Short Story in the Twenties, 1961. (out of print)


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