Best dating short stories of all time

best dating short stories of all time

As a fitting finale to National Short Story Month, we asked the talented crew over at One Story to name their ten favorite epigrammatic tales. Tanya Rey, the managing editor, explained via e-mail that their choices are in no particular order, so anti-Salingerists are advised to not get all huffy just because JD leads the list. Read more on flavorwire.com. Download.

best dating short stories of all time

Short stories often go underappreciated, but they represent an art form few authors truly master. For readers, the short story is the perfect literary snack, a choice morsel that fills a spare hour, refreshes the brain, and gives a moment of escape from daily routines. When you need something to nibble and lack the time for a novel, feast your eyes on these tiny tomes with outsized impact. For Esme—with Love and Squalor No list of short stories would be complete without the work of J.D.

Salinger, and “For Esme” is one of his finest. First published in 1950 in The New Yorker and anthologized two years later, the story takes place in England during World War II and involves a soldier who meets an adolescent girl during a church visit in Devon. A year later, the soldier suffers a nervous breakdown in the weeks following V-E Day, but a letter from Esme, the young lady, inspires his recovery. This story sings with a message of redemption.

Harrison Bergeron When life hands you lemons, why not wallow in a deeply critique of authoritarian dystopia? This story, published in Kurt Vonnegut’s Welcome to the Monkey House collection, is set in the year 2081 and features a society in which everyone is “handicapped” by the government to ensure equality among all. The beautiful must wear masks; the intelligent, a headset that blasts shrill sounds to interrupt their thinking. Harrison, the protagonist, rebels against the Handicapper General and attempts to overthrow the tyrannical government.

The dark humor and tight journalistic style make this an easy, if somewhat disturbing, read. The Three Questions Tolstoy is the recognized master of epic , but few appreciate his skill with the short story. This story was first published in 1885 and is written in parable form. A king seeks answers to the three questions he considers most important in life and after receiving inadequate responses from the educated men in his kingdom, he looks to a wise hermit in a neighboring village.

In an , the king learns the answers to his questions as he helps the hermit care for a severely wounded man who shows up at the hermit’s hut. This story is classic for its timeless answers and masterful way they are revealed. A Man from the South This Roald Dahl masterpiece was published in 1948 in the magazine Collier’s and was adapted for film in a 1960 episode of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” starring Steve McQueen.

In the story, Carlos, an old man, offers a young American his gorgeous green Cadillac if he can light his lighter 10 times in a row. The catch, however, is that if he cannot, the old man will chop off the Gambler’s finger. The story involves a mysterious woman, a zinger of a , and an unexpected ending, just the thing to perk up a tired brain.

A Good Man Is Hard to Find In this 1953 story, Flannery O’Connor tells the tale of a manipulative grandmother and her son, his wife, and his children, who encounter a dangerous escaped criminal after their car overturns on a journey from Georgia to Florida. It is a stunning and disturbing story that deals with universal themes of cowardice, selfishness, redemption, and grace—and coming to terms with a person’s true self.

The controversial final scene is the subject of endless scholarly debate and will be indelibly stamped in your brain once you’ve read it.

Next time you need a quick refresher for a tired brain, pick up an anthology of short stories and curl up on the couch for an empowering hour of literary diversion. What’s your favorite short story and why?


best dating short stories of all time

best dating short stories of all time - Best Short Story Writers


best dating short stories of all time

It actually is a very daring job to take up; to list out a handful short stories and call them the best. We’ve tried our best to include the best of the best, a list that is bias-free; in no particular order!

10. Lamb to the slaughter Written by: Roald Dahl. (Source: donteverreadme) This story is all about a heavily pregnant woman named Mary Maloney, determined to not forgive her dear husband who decided to divorce the poor woman one evening. Very tastefully written and presented, this tale by Dahl, especially the unpredictable climax, is bound to give you a very sweet feeling of victory combined with a hint of pity.

Best line: “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep, before her shearers are dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” The quote is actually sourced by Dahl from Isaiah in Isaiah 53:7.

The setting of the line in context to the tale is something you should experience right away! 9. Old Love Written by: Jeffery Archer (Source: Tumblr) The tale is actually a little cliched in nature. A man and a woman who are academic competitors, initially display great detest towards each other but eventually end up falling in love because of all the similarities that they had otherwise earlier ignored in the spell of hatred.

The protagonists of the story are depicted to be Literature students from Oxford, both inhibiting exceptional intelligence, giving the lit enthusiasts in you a double boost up while you read the tale. Best line: “Some people, it is said, fall in love at first sight but that was not what happened to William Hatchard and Philippa Jameson. They hated each other from the moment they met. This mutual loathing commenced at the first tutorial of their freshmen terms.” 8. The Postmaster Written by: Rabindranath Tagore (Source: Abhivyakti for all) The story concerns an unnamed postmaster who is assigned to a remote post office in a small rural Indian village.

The protagonists actually hail from and are used to the concrete jungle of Kolkata and feel like a ‘fish out of the water.’ To the post-master’s rescue, however, comes across a girl who takes care of him as a mother, despite being the age of his daughter. What happens next is a turmoil of human emotions and behaviour, to be read and experienced. Best line: “O poor, unthinking human heart!

Error will not go away, logic and reason are slow to penetrate.We cling with both arms to false hope, refusing to believe in the weightiest proofs against it, embracing it with all our strength. In the end, it escapes, ripping our veins and draining our heart’s blood; until, regaining consciousness, we rush to fall into snares of delusion all over again” 7. An Astrologer’s Day Written by: R.K. Narayan (Source: Find Your Fate) A very relatable tale in the Indian context, this story is about an astrologer who earns his living out of duping people, making them believe in things which are purely imaginary; telling them exactly what they want to hear.

The astrologer mastered the art of lying over the years with experience. The build up of the plot is fascinating in its own way but the actual punch lies in the conclusion. Best line: “He had not in the least intended to be an astrologer when he began life, and he knew no more of what was going to happen to others than he knew what was going to happen to himself next minute.

He was as much a stranger to the stars as were his innocent customers. Yet he said things which pleased and astonished everyone: that was more a matter of study, practice, and shrewd guesswork.” 6. B24 Written by: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Source: Arthur-Conan-Doyle) Otherwise popular and known for the Sherlock Holmes stories, Sir Arthur also has some other treasures in his name that goes less noticed and read. Right from the beginning, you’re actually told what the end is.

It starts with the accused sending a letter and accusing someone else. If we believe him, then we know “whodunit”…the same thing if we think the accused did it.

The plot is outstanding and exciting since you read from a different perspective and are bound to form an opinion and determine the real culprit. The truth, however, you need to read and find. Best Line: “I have only you to look to, sir, and if you will clear my name of this false accusation, then I will worship you as one man never yet worshipped another.

But if you fail me, then I give you my solemn promise that I will rope myself up, this day month, to the bar of my windows, and from that time on I will come to plague you in your dreams if ever yet one man was able to come back and to haunt another.” 5. Gift of the Magi Written by: O’Henry (Source: Production Patheos) One of the all time classics, this story is always a reference when talking about utmost selflessness and love.

It takes place during the Christmas time, the season of giving and receiving and revolves around a medium income couple named Jim and Della, madly in love. The married couple didn’t have enough money to buy each other Christmas gifts – what they do next to please each other is a tale that will be passed down generations to come like it already has from the past. Best Line: “But in the last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest.

Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the Magi.” 4. The Yellow Wallpaper Written by: Charlotte Perkins Gilman (Source: Pinimg) Flying the flag for feminism in this story, in this one, the author provides an interesting and to-date unsettling exploration of the oppression of women in nineteenth-century society. A symbolism of the emerging wallpaper pattern is felt with the narrator’s gradual descent into madness; perhaps, what makes this story so memorable effective and a must read.

Favourite Line: “At night in any kind of light, in the twilight, candle light, lamplight, and worst of all by moonlight, it becomes bars! The outside pattern I mean and the woman behind it is as plain as can be.” 3. Puppy Written by: George Saunders (Source: Azquotes) Somewhat an unfamiliar name if compared to the others mentioned here, George Saunders knows how to twist profoundness with humour, delivering a piece so surreal, always with an emotional punch.

The piece explores the perspective of poor vs. rich, and how the same situation can be looked at from two sides. A side shows one person who understands situations as an abuse while another sees the same actions as unending love. Such a bittersweet story, this one, as many of the best ones are. Best Line: “They didn’t have to feel what you felt; they just had to be supported in feeling what they felt.” 2.

Rip Van Winkle Written by: Washington Irving Year: 1819 (Source: Storynory) After a peaceful deep sleep in the woods, the ‘henpecked’ protagonist wakes up only to find his village completely revamped; also when the discovery strikes to him that that twenty years have passed.

The story, in essence, is a metaphorical look at the changing American Identity following the event of the Revolutionary War. Must for lit-history enthusiasts. Favourite Line: “I was myself last night, but I fell asleep on the mountain, and they’ve changed my gun, and everything’s changed, and I’m changed, and I can’t tell what’s my name, or who I am!” 1.

Harvey’s Dream Written by: Stephen King (Source: Tumblr) You know when you’re on a list of best short stories, it is rather a disgrace to not include this phenomenal writer. This one has actually even been adapted as a movie.

The way the story sets up, with the clues right out in front, sitting right there for you to stare at for page after page; it’s an escalation, a slowly dawning realisation, and when the knowledge sinks in, it is your undoing.

It appears, for the most part, to be a happy story, until it turns the corner; read and figure it out for yourself. Thank us later. Best line: “But the answer is easy. Because you didn’t know. You discarded most of the lies along the way but held on to the one that said life mattered.”


best dating short stories of all time

The short story is sometimes an under-appreciated art form. Within the space of a few pages, an author must weave a story that's compelling, create characters readers care about and drive the story to its ultimate conclusion - a feat that can be difficult to accomplish even with a great degree of savvy. Yet these authors have mastered the art of the short story, turning condensed pieces into memorable works of literature that stick with readers long after they've finished.

So if you're looking for something to read between classes, get you into literature or just keep you entertained, pick up one of these short stories. Sad and Shocking Tales These short stories prove that it doesn't take a whole novel to leave you stunned and still thinking about a narrative weeks after reading. "Signs and Symbols" by Vladimir Nabokov: First published in The New Yorker, this short story tells the sad tale of an elderly couple and their mentally ill son.

"A Good Man Is Hard to Find" by Flannery O'Connor: A manipulative grandmother is at the center of this tragic and shocking story about coming to terms with who you really are. "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" by Ernest Hemingway: A writer on safari in Africa is close to death and looks back on his life regrettably in this short tale.

"The Fly" by Katherine Mansfield: This short story deals with some heavy themes, like death, truth and the horrors of war. "In the Penal Colony" by Franz Kafka: An elaborate torture and execution device that carves a sentence into a prisoner's skin before death is at the center of this famous short story by Kafka. "A Hunger Artist" by Franz Kafka: Exploring themes like death, art, isolation and personal failure, this work is one of Kafka's best and, sadly, most autobiographical.

"The Lame Shall Enter First" by Flannery O'Connor: In this tragic story, a man's idealism and self-interest cause him to ignore the needs of his grieving son - with sad consequences. "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson: First published in 1948, this short has been ranked as one of the most famous short stories in American literature - despite its negative reception in some places.

"The Use of Force" by William Carlos Williams: This story asks readers to consider whether or not it is ethical to hurt someone for their own good and, more importantly, whether one should be ashamed to enjoy the experience. "The Rockinghorse Winner" by D.H. Lawrence: This twisted tale will stick with you long after you've read it, documenting the strange relationship between a spendthrift mother and her son, who only longs to make her happy.

"The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman: An early work of feminist literature, this story follows a young woman as she descends into psychosis, becoming obsessed with the pattern and color of the wallpaper. Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? By Joyce Carol Oates: This short story was inspired by the murders committed in Tucson, Arizona, by serial killer Charles Schmid. Collections If you're looking for more than just one great short story, check out these must-reads. I, Robot by Issac Asimov: Made into a variety of movies and inspiring many other writers, this collection is an essential read for any sci-fi fan.

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout: Containing 13 short stories, this Pulitzer Prize-winning work details the lives of Olive and those inhabiting the small Maine town she calls home. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien: Nominated for and winning numerous literary awards, this collection of stories about the Vietnam War is moving - perhaps even more so because many of them are based on the author's own experiences.

Dubliners by James Joyce: Over the course of fifteen short stories, readers will gain insights into Irish middle-class life at the beginning of the 20th century. Nine Stories by JD Salinger: Containing some of Salinger's most famous short works like "For Esme - with Love and Squalor," this collection is a great way to connect with the well-known author.

Steps by Jerzy Kosinski: In a series of short vignettes, Kosinski will shock, disgust and creep you out. Whether you like the book or not, you won't walk away unmoved.

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri: This Pulitzer-winning collection captures the difficulties of Indian-Americans caught between one culture and another.

Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? by Raymond Carver: Themes of segregation and unhappiness are the center of this collection of short stories on American life. Pop Culture Classics You've more than likely heard of these famous short tales - even if you've never read them. "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" by Mark Twain: This colorful tale about a man and his famous jumping frog earned Twain fame and acclaim and is well worth a read.

"Rikki-Tikki-Tavi " by Rudyard Kipling: If you never enjoyed the tale of this dedicated mongoose as a child, pick it up today. "The Body" by Stephen King: Adapted into the movie Stand By Me, this short tale documents both the depth of friendship and the horrors of misfortune. "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving: You've more than likely seen one of the film adaptations of this famous tale, but see how they compare with the original for the full experience.

"The Telltale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe: There are few out there who haven't read or at least heard of this classic tale. Over a few short pages, Poe builds the suspense as a murderer begins to feel the guilt of his crime. "A Sound of Thunder" by Ray Bradbury: This work is the most re-published sci-fi short story of all time, documenting with great aplomb the devastating consequences of the "butterfly effect." "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" by James Thurber: The most famous of Thurber's stories, inspiring the term "Mittyesque," focuses on a man who is bored with his mundane life and escapes through a series of grand, heroic fantasies inspired by his surroundings.

"The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell: Adapted into a movie starring Ice-T, the literary version of this story is perhaps more serious and compelling than the pop culture it has inspired.

Well-Known Authors These classic authors may have gotten famous for their longer works, but their short stories can often be just as compelling. "Three Questions" by Leo Tolstoy: While Tolstoy may be better known for his epic novels, this short story in the form of a parable about a king searching for the most important questions in life shows he mastered the medium of the short story as well.

"The Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: This magical realist story focuses on a couple who have found what they believe to be an angel in their front yard - for better or for worse. "Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe: This classic tale of gothic horror will have you hanging on to every last detail.

"Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.: In this satirical, dystopian story society has finally achieved equality by handicapping the most intelligent, athletic or beautiful members of society. "The Nose" by Nikolai Gogol: This short satirical work tells the tale of a St.

Petersburg official whose nose decides it's had enough and leaves his face to start a life of its own. "The Diamond As Big as the Ritz" by F. Scott Fitzgerald: Included in a short story collection and published on its own, this story documents the lengths one family will go to in order to keep their secret source of wealth a hidden. "The Looking Glass" by Anton Chekhov: A marriage-obsessed young woman begins to see her future life being played out in her looking glass in this short tale.

"The South" by Jorge Luis Borges: Considered by Borges to be one of his best short stories, this story centers on a man who is on his way home after a near death experience. "The Swimmer" by John Cheever: This story may have been originally conceived as a novel, but it holds up well as a short story, blending realism and surrealism as it explores life in suburban American.

"To Build a Fire" by Jack London: Known for his epic tales about man in nature, this short story doesn’t disappoint as a man and dog are pitted against the wilderness in a battle for survival. "The Nightingale and the Rose" by Oscar Wilde: This story uses the form of a fairy tale to look at love, sacrifice and relationships.

Twist Endings Short stories are often the perfect format for setting up shocking twist endings. Here are some of the best twisty short stories ever written. "The Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant: Popular for its twist ending and the inspiration for many other writers, this short story is a must-read for anyone interested in the genre.

"An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Beirce: Made into a Twilight Zone episode, this classic short story is set during the Civil War, where a man is about to hang for being a Confederate sympathizer.

"The Monkey's Paw" by W. W. Jacobs: In this terrifying tale, readers will learn to be careful what they wish for - it might not always be what they want. "Pastoralia" by George Saunders: Winning Saunders an O. Henry Award in 2001, this story focuses on a man who is stuck in a life he hates in a dystopian future.

"Man from the South" by Roald Dahl: In this short story, a mysterious man offers a bargain for lighting a lighter on the first try. Win, you get a new car. Lose, he gets to take your finger. "The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry: This sentimental story has a twist with a lesson about the true meaning of gift giving.

The short story is sometimes an under-appreciated art form. Within the space of a few pages, an author must weave a story that's compelling, create characters readers care about and drive the story to its ultimate conclusion - a feat that can be difficult to accomplish even with a great degree of savvy.

Yet these authors have mastered the art of the short story, turning condensed pieces into memorable works of literature that stick with readers long after they've finished.

So if you're looking for something to read between classes, get you into literature or just keep you entertained, pick up one of these short stories. Sad and Shocking Tales These short stories prove that it doesn't take a whole novel to leave you stunned and still thinking about a narrative weeks after reading.

"Signs and Symbols" by Vladimir Nabokov: First published in The New Yorker, this short story tells the sad tale of an elderly couple and their mentally ill son. "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" by Flannery O'Connor: A manipulative grandmother is at the center of this tragic and shocking story about coming to terms with who you really are. "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" by Ernest Hemingway: A writer on safari in Africa is close to death and looks back on his life regrettably in this short tale.

"The Fly" by Katherine Mansfield: This short story deals with some heavy themes, like death, truth and the horrors of war. "In the Penal Colony" by Franz Kafka: An elaborate torture and execution device that carves a sentence into a prisoner's skin before death is at the center of this famous short story by Kafka.

"A Hunger Artist" by Franz Kafka: Exploring themes like death, art, isolation and personal failure, this work is one of Kafka's best and, sadly, most autobiographical. "The Lame Shall Enter First" by Flannery O'Connor: In this tragic story, a man's idealism and self-interest cause him to ignore the needs of his grieving son - with sad consequences.

"The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson: First published in 1948, this short has been ranked as one of the most famous short stories in American literature - despite its negative reception in some places. "The Use of Force" by William Carlos Williams: This story asks readers to consider whether or not it is ethical to hurt someone for their own good and, more importantly, whether one should be ashamed to enjoy the experience.

"The Rockinghorse Winner" by D.H. Lawrence: This twisted tale will stick with you long after you've read it, documenting the strange relationship between a spendthrift mother and her son, who only longs to make her happy. "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman: An early work of feminist literature, this story follows a young woman as she descends into psychosis, becoming obsessed with the pattern and color of the wallpaper. Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

By Joyce Carol Oates: This short story was inspired by the murders committed in Tucson, Arizona, by serial killer Charles Schmid. Collections If you're looking for more than just one great short story, check out these must-reads.

I, Robot by Issac Asimov: Made into a variety of movies and inspiring many other writers, this collection is an essential read for any sci-fi fan. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout: Containing 13 short stories, this Pulitzer Prize-winning work details the lives of Olive and those inhabiting the small Maine town she calls home.

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien: Nominated for and winning numerous literary awards, this collection of stories about the Vietnam War is moving - perhaps even more so because many of them are based on the author's own experiences. Dubliners by James Joyce: Over the course of fifteen short stories, readers will gain insights into Irish middle-class life at the beginning of the 20th century.

Nine Stories by JD Salinger: Containing some of Salinger's most famous short works like "For Esme - with Love and Squalor," this collection is a great way to connect with the well-known author. Steps by Jerzy Kosinski: In a series of short vignettes, Kosinski will shock, disgust and creep you out. Whether you like the book or not, you won't walk away unmoved. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri: This Pulitzer-winning collection captures the difficulties of Indian-Americans caught between one culture and another.

Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? by Raymond Carver: Themes of segregation and unhappiness are the center of this collection of short stories on American life. Pop Culture Classics You've more than likely heard of these famous short tales - even if you've never read them. "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" by Mark Twain: This colorful tale about a man and his famous jumping frog earned Twain fame and acclaim and is well worth a read.

"Rikki-Tikki-Tavi " by Rudyard Kipling: If you never enjoyed the tale of this dedicated mongoose as a child, pick it up today. "The Body" by Stephen King: Adapted into the movie Stand By Me, this short tale documents both the depth of friendship and the horrors of misfortune. "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving: You've more than likely seen one of the film adaptations of this famous tale, but see how they compare with the original for the full experience.

"The Telltale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe: There are few out there who haven't read or at least heard of this classic tale. Over a few short pages, Poe builds the suspense as a murderer begins to feel the guilt of his crime.

"A Sound of Thunder" by Ray Bradbury: This work is the most re-published sci-fi short story of all time, documenting with great aplomb the devastating consequences of the "butterfly effect." "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" by James Thurber: The most famous of Thurber's stories, inspiring the term "Mittyesque," focuses on a man who is bored with his mundane life and escapes through a series of grand, heroic fantasies inspired by his surroundings.

"The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell: Adapted into a movie starring Ice-T, the literary version of this story is perhaps more serious and compelling than the pop culture it has inspired.

Well-Known Authors These classic authors may have gotten famous for their longer works, but their short stories can often be just as compelling. "Three Questions" by Leo Tolstoy: While Tolstoy may be better known for his epic novels, this short story in the form of a parable about a king searching for the most important questions in life shows he mastered the medium of the short story as well.

"The Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: This magical realist story focuses on a couple who have found what they believe to be an angel in their front yard - for better or for worse. "Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe: This classic tale of gothic horror will have you hanging on to every last detail. "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.: In this satirical, dystopian story society has finally achieved equality by handicapping the most intelligent, athletic or beautiful members of society.

"The Nose" by Nikolai Gogol: This short satirical work tells the tale of a St. Petersburg official whose nose decides it's had enough and leaves his face to start a life of its own. "The Diamond As Big as the Ritz" by F.

Scott Fitzgerald: Included in a short story collection and published on its own, this story documents the lengths one family will go to in order to keep their secret source of wealth a hidden. "The Looking Glass" by Anton Chekhov: A marriage-obsessed young woman begins to see her future life being played out in her looking glass in this short tale. "The South" by Jorge Luis Borges: Considered by Borges to be one of his best short stories, this story centers on a man who is on his way home after a near death experience.

"The Swimmer" by John Cheever: This story may have been originally conceived as a novel, but it holds up well as a short story, blending realism and surrealism as it explores life in suburban American. "To Build a Fire" by Jack London: Known for his epic tales about man in nature, this short story doesn’t disappoint as a man and dog are pitted against the wilderness in a battle for survival. "The Nightingale and the Rose" by Oscar Wilde: This story uses the form of a fairy tale to look at love, sacrifice and relationships.

Twist Endings Short stories are often the perfect format for setting up shocking twist endings. Here are some of the best twisty short stories ever written.

"The Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant: Popular for its twist ending and the inspiration for many other writers, this short story is a must-read for anyone interested in the genre. "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Beirce: Made into a Twilight Zone episode, this classic short story is set during the Civil War, where a man is about to hang for being a Confederate sympathizer.

"The Monkey's Paw" by W. W. Jacobs: In this terrifying tale, readers will learn to be careful what they wish for - it might not always be what they want. "Pastoralia" by George Saunders: Winning Saunders an O.

Henry Award in 2001, this story focuses on a man who is stuck in a life he hates in a dystopian future. "Man from the South" by Roald Dahl: In this short story, a mysterious man offers a bargain for lighting a lighter on the first try. Win, you get a new car. Lose, he gets to take your finger. "The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry: This sentimental story has a twist with a lesson about the true meaning of gift giving.


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