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


Paul Delaney & Adrian Hunter

Part 1: Historicising the Short Story

  1. Transnationalism and the Transatlantic Short Story
  2. Michael J. Collins

  3. The Short Story and the Professionalisation of English Studies
  4. Adrian Hunter

  5. Impressionism and the Short Story
  6. Paul March-Russell

  7. Writers on the Short Story: 1950-present
  8. Ailsa Cox

    Part 2: Publishing the Short Story

  9. The Short Story and the ‘Little Magazine’
  10. Beryl Pong

  11. Collections, Cycles, and Sequences
  12. Jennifer J. Smith

  13. The Short Story Anthology
  14. Elke D’hoker

  15. The Short Story and Digital Media
  16. Laura Dietz

    Part 3: Forms of the Short Story

  17. Short-Short Fiction
  18. Michael Basseler

  19. The Weird Tale
  20. Timothy Jones

  21. The Horror Story
  22. Darryl Jones

  23. Experimental Short Stories
  24. Jeremy Scott

  25. The War Story
  26. Adam Piette

    Part 4: Placing the Short Story

  27. Regionalism and the Short Story
  28. Lucy Evans

  29. The Short Story and the City
  30. Philip Coleman

  31. The Short Story in Suburbia
  32. Joanna Price

  33. The Short Story and the Environment
  34. Deborah Lilley & Sam Solnick

    Part 5: Identity and the Short Story

  35. Gender and Genre in the Short Story
  36. Ruth Robbins

  37. Diaspora and the Short Story
  38. Sam Naidu

  39. The Queer Short Story
  40. Brett Josef Grubisic

  41. Disability and the Short Story

Alice Hall



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
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.

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