The American short story has always been characterized by exciting aesthetic innovations and an immense range of topics. This handbook offers students and researchers a compact introduction to the multifaceted genre with a special focus on recent developments due to the rise of new media. Part I provides systematic overviews of significant contexts ranging from historical-political backgrounds, short story theories developed by writers, print and digital culture, to current theoretical approaches and canon formation. Part II consists of 30 paired readings of representative short stories by eminent authors, charting major steps in the evolution of the American short story from its beginnings as an art form in the early nineteenth century up to the digital age and new narrative trends of twitterature, nanofiction, crowd-sourced narratives, and e-publishing. The handbook examines historically, methodologically, and theoretically the coming together of the enduring narrative practice of compression and concision in American literature. It offers fresh and original readings relevant to studying the American short story and shows how the genre performs American culture.
Compact introduction with special focus on new narrative trends
Systematic overviews of significant contexts
Close readings of representative short stories by eminent authors
Erik Redling, Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany; Oliver Scheiding, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany.