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  1. Aug 19, 2020 · As others have pointed out before me, Le Guin’s most read and most famous short story is almost always chillingly relevant. Donald Barthelme, “The School” (1974) This one might only be iconic for writers, but considering it’s one of the best short stories ever written (according to me), I simply couldn’t exclude it.

  2. Apr 5, 2022 · Clark tells their stories. “A Scandal in Bohemia” by Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock Holmes attempts to recover a photograph from Irene Adler (or “the woman”) for a client. “ The Nutcracker and the Mouse-King ” by E.T.A. Hoffmann, retold by Alexandre Dumas. A young girl saves a Nutcracker from the Mouse King, and is told the story of ...

    • Annika Barranti Klein
    • Leandra Beabout
    • The Joy of Funerals by Alix Strauss. This year marks the 20th anniversary of The Joy of Funerals, with a fitting anniversary edition out in October. The collection includes nine stories of women willing to do almost anything to fill their yawning voids of loneliness.
    • Naked in the Rideshare by Rebecca Shaw and Ben Kronengold. The two youngest-ever comedy writers for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon put their heads together to co-author Naked in the Rideshare: Stories of Gross Miscalculations.
    • Table for Two by Amor Towles. Short on time but long on love for bestselling books like Rules of Civility and A Gentleman in Moscow? You’re in luck, because author Amor Towles will come out with this short story collection in April 2024.
    • Cravings by Garnett Kilberg Cohen. Garnett Kilberg Cohen opens Cravings with a story called “Hors d’oeuvres” and ends it with “Feast.” Each tale digs into a character’s literal or metaphorical craving.
    • Free Short Stories to Read Right Now
    • “Lamb to The Slaughter” by Roald Dahl
    • “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson
    • “How to Become A Writer” by Lorrie Moore
    • “Cat Person” by Kristen Roupenian
    • “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver
    • “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor
    • “Symbols and Signs” by Vladimir Nabokov
    • “Sticks” by George Saunders
    • “The Veldt” by Ray Bradbury

    These individual short stories are the best of the best — and the even better news is that they're available for free online for you to peruse. From classics published in the 1900s to a short story that exploded in late 2017, here are ten of the greatest free short storiesfor you to read.

    While not exactly a philosophical or political tale like our first two examples, this twisty short storyfrom Dahl does delve into some shady moral territory. We are introduced to Mary Maloney: a loving wife and dedicated homemaker. In just a few short paragraphs describing how she welcomes her husband home, Dahl makes us sympathize with Mary — befo...

    A perennial feature in many a high school syllabus, Shirley Jackson’s best-known short storyclinically details an unusual ritual that takes place in a small town. There’s not exactly a lot of plot to spoil in The Lottery — but within a few short pages, Jackson manages to represent the mob mentality that can drive reasonable people to commit heinous...

    Told in the second person point of view, this story from Moore’s debut anthology Self-Helptakes an honest look at the inner life of a struggling artist. Through the use of an unusual POV, the author manages to turn her reader into a confidante — making it abundantly clear that the ‘you’ the narrator is speaking about is actually herself. This story...

    In the Social Media Age, no short story has gone viral the way this New Yorker contributionfrom Roupenian has. Arriving at the height of #MeToo, it begins with 20-year-old Margot embarking on the early stages of flirtation with an older man, Robert. As she gets to know more about this man (as well as filling in the gaps with her imagination), the p...

    First published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1981, “Cathedral”is today known as one of Raymond Carver’s finest works. When it opens, we meet a narrator whose wife is expecting a visit from an old friend, a blind man. Dissatisfied and distrusting of people not like him, our narrator struggles to connect until the blind man asks him to describe a cathe...

    Innocuously titled, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”is nevertheless Flannery O’Connor’s bleakest — and most famous — work. It begins unassumingly with a Southern family who’s planning to go on a road trip. Yet the journey is rudely interrupted when their car overturns on an abandoned dirt road — and they are met by an enigmatic group of three men, comi...

    The famous author of Lolita wrote “Signs and Symbols”in 1948. Its premise is seemingly simple: an elderly couple visits their mentally ill son in the sanatorium in America. Yet their background and trials come into sharp focus as the story develops, until an explosive ending disrupts everyone’s peace of mind. As you might expect, the somber “Symbol...

    Not so much a short story as it is flash fiction, “Sticks”is written from the perspective of a young man whose father has an unusual habit: dressing up a crucifix that’s built of out a metal pole in the yard. One of America’s greatest living short story writers, George Saunders explained: "For two years I'd been driving past a house like the one in...

    If there’s anyone who you can trust to deliver thought-provoking, terrifying science fiction on the regular, it’s Ray Bradbury. In “The Veldt,”George and Lydia Hadley have bought an automated house that comes with a “nursey,” or a virtual reality room. Worried about the nursery’s effect on the kids, George and Lydia think about turning off the nurs...

    • Reedsy
    • The Lottery. Written by Shirley Jackson in 1948, so many people around the world agree on "The Lottery" as the best short story ever written. "The Lottery" is about an annual tradition that takes place in a fictional American community: the eponymous lottery.
    • The Lady With the Dog. While the aforementioned John Cheever might've been "Chekhov of the suburbs," no one actually writes like Anton Chekhov himself—and "The Lady With the Dog" is his best short story.
    • Reunion. John Cheever is an American short story writer who's wholly unique and unlike anyone else. Dubbed the "Chekhov of the suburbs," Cheever wrote personal stories with a touch of detachment that makes you quiver to read them.
    • The Yellow Wallpaper. One of the defining texts of feminist literature, "The Yellow Wallpaper" isn't just a short story—it's an experience that has undoubtedly made many readers question their own reality.
  3. post a comment ». 52 books based on 24 votes: The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings by Edgar Allan Poe, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge ...

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  5. a high school textbook anthology book. It was about an attractive girl who was aske..." 565 books based on 387 votes: The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, The Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Complete Stories and Poems by Edgar ...

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