Top 10 Short Stories

always nearby

always nearby

So cranky Steve Weddle tweeted the link to a list of John Hornor Jacobs’ top 10 short stories (which was a response to a list Richard Thomas posted at Litreactor) saying none would be on his top 10. We got to tweetin’ about short stories, and he said he’d show me his list if I showed him mine. I can think, right now, of at least 50 stories I could switch for five of these (the first five are pretty constant). But these are the stories that come to mind most quickly because for different reasons they are in my head, I think, forever. Above my desk, I keep books that I like to look at (I mean that literally, not pick up and read) and the three pictured here are never out of sight.

1. The Dead, James Joyce

2. Royal Beatings, Alice Munro (or anything else from The Beggar Maid, not a huge Munro fan, but love this book)

3. The Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, Gabriel Garcia Márquez

4. Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Joyce Carol Oates

5. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, Ambrose Bierce

6. A Suburban Fairy Tale, Katherine Mansfield

7. The Colour Out of Space, H. P. Lovecraft

8. Emergency, Denis Johnson (or take your pick from Jesus’ Son)

9. Hills Like White Elephants, Ernest Hemingway

10. Sea Oak, George Saunders

About Jane Hammons

I write. I teach. I teach writing.
This entry was posted in Writers, Writing, etc. and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Top 10 Short Stories

  1. steveweddle says:

    That’s a swell list. Here’s my own preliminary list:

    1. “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway
    2. “Comet” by James Salter
    3. “Burning House” by Ann Beattie
    4. “Emergency” by Denis Johnson
    5. “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves” by Karen Russell
    6. “Decoration Day” by John William Corrington
    7. “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad
    8. “People Like That Are the Only People Here” by Lorrie Moore
    9. “A Brush” by John Berger
    10. “Theory of Realty” by Holly Goddard Jones

  2. Lou says:

    Love this look at what inspires you. I share some of them. And I also have books on my writing desk which are only there to remind me…of things.

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