This first-of-its-kind volume on flash fiction-prose of no more than 1,000 words-tracks the development and critical context of this international literary genre. Essays look at both prominent forebearers and current practitioners including Kate Chopin, Franz Kafka, Julio Cortazar, Amy Hempel, and Lydia Davis.
Although very short stories have a long history and have appeared under a number of labels, flash fiction is now the preferred term, one that describes an established genre that continues to grow in popularity. To date, however, relatively little scholarship has been published on it. This present volume seeks to address that deficiency while introducing students and teachers to the genre and to a number of its finest authors.
For readers who are studying the theme for the first time, four essays survey the critical conversation regarding the theme, explore its cultural and historical contexts, and offer close and comparative readings of key texts containing the theme.
Readers seeking a deeper understanding of the theme can then move on to other essays that explore it in depth through a variety of critical approaches.
Each essay is 2,500 to 5,000 words in length, and all essays conclude with a list of "Works Cited," along with endnotes.
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