Outstanding, in-depth scholarship by renowned literary critics; great starting point for students seeking an introduction to the theme and the critical discussions surrounding it.
Critical Insights: American Short Story provides thoughtful, accessible essays that, taken together, provide a firm sense of the range of thematic, stylistic, and formal developments of the American short story over the past two hundred years. The main section of the book consists of ten Critical Readings that take a variety of approaches. Some revisit often-studied works and writers, others bring attention to forgotten or neglected stories and writers, and still others develop insights on significant contemporary authors. The next five essays take up the aesthetic achievements of short story writers in the early to mid-twentieth century.
Topics in this title include: “A Study in Pain”: Musical Variations and Ernest Hemingway’s “The Gambler, the Nun, and the Radio,” by Nicole J. Carnastra, “Knowledge and Power in Henry James’ ‘In the Cage,’” by Lind Simon, “The ‘Vanishing American’: Remembering Weldon Kees’ Short Fiction,” by Ola Madhour, “’The Blue Hotel’ and Stephen Crane’s American Violence,” by Marc Dziak, plus many more.
Each essay is 2,500 to 5,000 words in length, and all essays conclude with a list of "Works Cited," along with endnotes. Finally, the volume's appendixes offer a section of useful reference resources:
- About This Volume
- Critical Context: Original Introductory Essays
- Critical Readings: Original In-Depth Essays
- Further Readings
- Detailed Bibliography
- Detailed Bio of the Editor
- General Subject Index
This volume tells a compelling story—one that deepens our understanding of America’s own literary genre and offers subtle interpretations for students and teachers to consider. What is more, these essays point out where further discussion could continue the always unfolding tale of the American short story.