Every now and then a reader wants a well-written short story to satisfy the craving for a good read but one that gets to the point fast enough before the tea gets cold. A short story can leave such a strong feeling because it’s expressed in a few pages and the plot unfolds without giving you room to guess. Here’s a list of a few short stories both classical and modern that will leave a lasting impression.
- A Good Man Is Hard To Find by Flannery O’Connor
This is one of the most popular short stories. A family faces sudden and tragic death in this fictional piece. However as tragic as the story is it uses humour that stirs up the reader’s emotions. The story highlights religion and man’s wickedness in a witty way. Written in 1953, this story is still captivating and relevant. You can read A Good Man Is Hard To Find here.
- The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins
Charlotte Perkins tells the story in The Yellow Wallpaper based on her own experience with postpartum depression. The doctor prescribes ‘rest cure’ as the solution to her depression. However, the question arises on how effective this remedy is for such patients. Perkins was a feminist and so this story also highlights patriarchal notions even in the doctor’s assessment of the illness. The Yellow Wallpaper is bound to be thought-provoking for any reader as one tries to decipher the meaning of the literal nuances in the story. Read The Yellow Wallpaper here.
- Cow and Company by Parashar Kulkarni
This short story won the Commonwealth short story prize in 2016. Cow and Company is a story that’s sure to leave a lasting impression on you. It’s creative and humorous. Parashar Kulkarani narrates the woes of a British Chewing Gum company that wants to enter the Indian market in Bombay. The company chooses a cow as their mascot. They, however, neglect to factor in an important detail; religious views of a cow in India. This story highlights the themes of business religion and culture in a spellbinding way. You use this link to read the full story.
- How To Become A Writer by Lorrie Moore
Lorrie Moore uses an interesting point of view to narrate her story as a writer. She uses the second person throughout the story but in the real sense, the ‘you’ in the story refers to her. The story uses vivid and relatable descriptions to express her words with a touch of humour. Perhaps what stands out for many especially writers and artists is the truth in the expression of emotional cycles that she goes through in the decision to become a writer. You can read the story here.
- The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
A village in New England has a bizarre tradition. The villagers come together every year to participate in a lottery. The lottery aims to choose one member of the village who would be stoned to death as a sacrifice. It is during summer and the children are there early enough since there’s no school. The boys are ready with the smoothest and roundest stones ready to participate in this tradition. However, like other mob activities how fair is the process? This short story made headlines back then in 1948 when it was printed due to the emotions it evokes. The gruesome story shows the wickedness of man and touches on mob psychology. You can read The Lottery here.
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