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The American Short Story since 1950

Kasia Boddy

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The American Short Story since 1950 offers a reappraisal and contextualisation of a critically underrated genre during a particularly rich period in its history. It offers new readings of important stories by key writers including Flannery O'Connor, John Cheever, Donald Barthelme, Raymond Carver, Lorrie Moore and Grace Paley. These readings are related throughout to the various contexts in which stories are written and published, including creative writing schools, story-writing handbooks, mass market and 'little' magazines.


Introduction: The American Short Story to 1950
1. How to Write Short Stories
2. The New Yorker Short Story at Mid-century
3. Experimental Fiction in the 60s and 70s
4. 'Experiment is Out, Concern is In'
5. Turning Points and the American Short Story Today
6. Sequences and Accumulations

About the Author

Kasia Boddy teaches in the English Department at University College London. She is the author of Boxing: A Cultural History (2008) and numerous articles on American literature, and the co-editor of three anthologies.


This impeccably researched account is accomplished in both a narrow and wider reading of the short story and its history. Sensitive to the nuances of meaning and effect in individual short stories, it is equally perceptive in its analysis of the broader historical and literary/cultural trends which influence short fiction, and which, in turn it has influenced... This is an invaluable introduction to this fertile period in American literature.
- Routledge ABES

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