But Tanya, I thought you didn’t like short stories? I don’t. Short stories are not my go to reads but that doesn’t mean I won’t read them and that there aren’t some good ones floating around.
So this is an appreciation post, so to speak, of short stories that ruined my life I love.
The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
One of my favorite short stories that was able to bring out a range of emotions from curiosity, intrigue to oh snap. Although it doesn’t answer the questions that I had in mind, while reading the book, I didn’t necessarily needed it answered. It would have been nice to know but I think what makes this short story great is the author took time to present the world as it is and what happens during a particular time as opposed to building a backstory and creating an ending that leaves you wanting more.
This short story is well written and I felt satisfied once I finished reading and that is what I look for in short stories.
The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin
Small backstory. I read this book in high school and I remember exactly how I was on the edge of my seat waiting for the ball to dropped. I was so sucked into the story. I had mixed feelings for Mrs. Mallard’s up until she gets by herself and her true feelings come out. There was sense of joy because you hear and read so many stories about women during that time that you’re like, yeah.. good for you! But here is the kicker. When we got to the end of the book, I laughed so loud in my classroom, I got the death stares. And the teacher asked me, why I found that so funny. And I said “the irony of the whole thing. The people were so sensitive around her so caring for her heart and her lost not realizing that she is now the happiest woman in the world but it was taken away from her so fast that yes, she died of a broken heart but not because of the “great” news.”
To this day, I will never forget that or the story. It showed me how powerful emotions can be. But most importantly, this author was able to bring you at such a high and just like Mrs. Mallard, bring you down so fast that you have to catch your breath. The build up to the end was fantastic and grade A work.
Hello Moto by Nnedi Okorafor
This story took me by surprised and what surprised me about it was how I didn’t want a backstory or more information on the characters, I wanted to know the outcome. The author was able to develop the characters and provide more than enough information on them that you know who you are rooting for and why.
There was a build up, that tied such detailed imagery, without you feeling the author was doing too much to get nowhere. I loved the combinations of modern times, technology and witchcraft. It was done tastefully and it was a great introduction to this author.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
This is my top favorite short story ever written. I cannot tell you enough, how hard I ship for this story and how passionate I am about any retelling done. If you do it wrong, I will call you out on that. But back to the original story, when I first read this, which was crazy young, my thought was Ichabod Crane was a lame but didn’t deserve what may have happened to him.
I loved the historical aspect of the book i.e. the headless horseman is rumored to be a ghost of a Hessian trooper that got his head shot off by cannon during the American Revolutionary War. I loved the setting, the details the author puts into the book. I was transported into the world; I always am when I read this book. A little side note: I went to see a ballet perform this short story and it was one of the best live performances I have ever . . . ever seen in my life.
The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories, Vol. 1
I am considering this a collection of short stories even if most of the stories are 3 lines deep. The words in this tiny book are extremely powerful and relatable, which took me by surprised. If nothing else, this book reminded me that it doesn’t take a whole lot of words to move you. It doesn’t take a whole lot to bring out a memory or put you in a specific space or see what the author wants you to see. I loved this book and bought it. Volume one and two.
The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
Now what would be a list of favorite short stories without mentioning Edgar Allan Poe.I share an interesting memory of this short read because it happens to be my little brother’s favorite as well. And us cornballs enjoy spotting this story reference in almost every movie or t.v. show. Think the Spongebob “Squeaky Boots” episode. But this short story was the first thing I have ever read from EAP. It was and it still is creepy but it is one of those creepiness that slowly walks up to you and surprises you with how far it has come.
Short stories are not my thing and I will keep saying that no matter short stories I read. It takes a lot to get me to love it. Most short stories have no problem, bringing me into the world. The issue is always the ending. I like conclusions. I like knowing that the story is done as opposed to me wanting the story to be longer. Short stories should leave you in awe that the author can pack so much into so little amount of pages.
The short stories above are simply the most memorable to me but there are other good ones out there. Maybe one day my list will grow.