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The Edinburgh Companion to the Short Story in English

Edited by Paul Delaney, Adrian Hunter

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New scholarly essays on the short story in English as a phenomenon of world literature

This collection explores the history and development of the anglophone short story since the beginning of the nineteenth century. Ranging across texts from different parts of the English-speaking world, it studies the form in its many guises and venues of publication. Why have writers of so many nationalities and dispositions found the short story amenable to experimentation and discovery? What is the history and origin of the modern short story, and what has been the role of the publishing business, of academic criticism, of the Creative Writing ‘industry’, and of the digital revolution in shaping and disseminating it over the past two centuries? This collection of innovative essays by new and established scholars explores these and other questions, addressing stories from around the world, and considering their relationship to place, identity, history and genre.

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Notes on Contributors
Introduction, Paul Delaney & Adrian Hunter
Part 1: Historicising the Short Story
1. Transnationalism and the Transatlantic Short Story, Michael J. Collins
2. The Short Story and the Professionalisation of English Studies, Adrian Hunter
3. Impressionism and the Short Story, Paul March-Russell
4. Writers on the Short Story: 1950-present, Ailsa Cox
Part 2: Publishing the Short Story
5. The Short Story and the ‘Little Magazine’, Beryl Pong
6. Collections, Cycles, and Sequences, Jennifer J. Smith
7. The Short Story Anthology, Elke D’hoker
8. The Short Story and Digital Media, Laura Dietz
Part 3: Forms of the Short Story
9. Short-Short Fiction, Michael Basseler
10. The Weird Tale, Timothy Jones
11. The Horror Story, Darryl Jones
12. Experimental Short Stories, Jeremy Scott
13. The War Story, Adam Piette
Part 4: Placing the Short Story
14. Regionalism and the Short Story, Lucy Evans
15. The Short Story and the City, Philip Coleman
16. The Short Story in Suburbia, Joanna Price
17. The Short Story and the Environment, Deborah Lilley & Sam Solnick
Part 5: Identity and the Short Story
18. Gender and Genre in the Short Story, Ruth Robbins
19. Diaspora and the Short Story, Sam Naidu
20. The Queer Short Story, Brett Josef Grubisic
21. Disability and the Short Story, Alice Hall

About the Author

Paul Delaney is Associate Professor in the School of English, Trinity College Dublin. He is author of Seán O’Faoláin: Literature, Inheritance and the 1930s (2014), and editor of Reading Colm Tóibín (2008) and William Trevor: Revaluations, with Michael Parker (2013).

Adrian Hunter is Senior Lecturer in English Studies at the University of Stirling. He is author of The Cambridge Introduction to the Short Story in English (2007), and of several articles and chapters on British and North American short fiction. He is currently editing a volume of James Hogg’s contributions to international periodicals for the definitive Stirling/South Carolina Research Edition of Hogg’s work, also published by Edinburgh University Press.


This collection brilliantly reconciles the traditional text/context divide in short story criticism, showcasing a wide variety of approaches to a wide variety of material. You will find Edgar Allan Poe, D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf here, but also Jhumpa Lahiri, Sam Selvon and Benjamin Franklin; anthologies and little magazines, but also short-shorts and Kindle Singles; genre and institutional history, but also eco-criticism and disability studies. This rich and diverse collection of essays will be essential reading for anyone interested in the English-language short story.

- Kasia Boddy, University of Cambridge

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