Cover image for The Facts on File companion to the American short story
The Facts on File companion to the American short story
Werlock, Abby H. P.
Publication Information:
New York : Facts on File, [2000]

Physical Description:
xiii, 542 pages ; 25 cm.
Added Author:
Added Corporate Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS374.S5 F33 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material
PS374.S5 F33 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
PS374.S5 F33 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material
PS374.S5 F33 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material

On Order



Since the first American short story was published in 1799

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This volume focuses on short stories and authors from the early nineteenth century through the 1990s who were American born or lived in the U.S. Contemporary writers are included if they have published more than two collections, have written stories that are often anthologized, have won literary prizes, or "have gained a following among younger readers and scholars." Also here are literary terms, literary theories, influential magazines, important story collections, notable characters and locales (e.g., William Faulkner's Abner Snopes, John Cheever's Shady Hill), major short story awards, and subgenres such as detective and science fiction. In addition to frequently anthologized stories, from Francis Hopkinson's A Pretty Story (1774) to T. Coraghessan Boyle's Greasy Lake (1987), there are entries for novellas, such as Henry James' The Turn of the Screw and Carson McCullers' Ballad of the Sad Cafe. The diversity of American literature is represented in entries such as Gay male short fiction and Native-American storytelling. Entries are arranged alphabetically. Each lists the entry name in boldface, followed by birth and death dates or publication year, where appropriate; a description, ranging from one paragraph to several paragraphs; and a concise bibliography of additional reading. Many of the entries are signed. The volume concludes with several appendixes: winners of short story prizes such as the O. Henry Memorial Award; a list of suggested stories arranged by theme and topic (from adolescence to writers and artists); and a selected bibliography. The book reminds modern readers and researchers not only of the origins of the short story in the works of Hawthorne, Irving, and Poe--and the contributions of European or cosmopolitan writers from Henry James to Vladimir Nabokov--but also the more recent emergence of writers of diverse backgrounds: Sandra Cisneros, Louise Erdrich, Jamaica Kincaid, and David Wong Louie, to name a few. In addition, one can learn how certain major novels, such as Pearl Buck's The Good Earth, began as short stories and about the role of the magazine and the development of paperback editions in the evolution of the short story. This resource would be very helpful in the reference collections of academic, public, and high-school libraries.

Library Journal Review

In intent, design, and format resembling the popular Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia (HarperCollins, 1996), but with a narrower focus, this work seeks to enhance reader interpretation and critical viewpoint. The more than 675 well-written entries explore aspects of the American short story from the early 19th century to the 1990s. The alphabetically arranged entries include author biographies and bibliographies as well as plot synopses, character sketches, and major short story analyses; also covered are literary terminology, themes, and motifs; historical events and trends that influenced the writers and the genre; prominent periodicals and critics; and winners of prestigious short story prizes. By no means all-inclusive, this volume instead attempts to create a balance between classic and contemporary writers, offering overviews of such short-fiction categories as Asian American, African American, and Native American literatures; subgenres like regionalism; and critical theory, with explanations of frequently used terms like postmodernism. Highly recommended for literary collections in public and academic libraries.--Marilyn Rosenthal, Nassau Community Coll. Lib., Garden City, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

In this companion, entries are arranged alphabetically and range in length from one paragraph to several pages. Entries cover individual authors, groups or movements (e.g., Algonquin Round Table), characters, settings, individual short stories, broad themes, theoretical stances (e.g., Marxist criticism, poststructuralism), major magazines and awards, and literary movements (e.g., Romanticism). Fairly lengthy entries are provided for genres or subfields, such as gay male fiction, detective fiction, science fiction, and Hispanic-American fiction. Also included are literary terms (e.g., allegory, Kafkaesque, foreshadowing) and historical or cultural terms (e.g., Vietnam War, prohibition, Mason-Dixon Line, Harlem Renaissance, Gibson girl). Author entries include brief bibliographies. Three useful appendixes list the winner and complete contents of the 0. Henry anthologies (1918-98), stories included in the Best American Short Story annual (1915-98), and the Pushcart Prize winners (1977-99); short stories arranged by themes and topics; and a selected bibliography of critical works and anthologies. Libraries with Dictionary of Literary Biography volumes 74, 78, 86 102, 130, and 218 already have excellent, deeper coverage of US short story writers, but this companion is useful for locating information on characters, settings, themes, and individual stories, and its coverage of contemporary writers is strong. Recommended for public libraries and undergraduates. ; University of Massachusetts Dartmouth



Since the first American short story was published in 1799, interest in the genre has continued to grow. Sales of collections have risen over the years, short story readings proliferate in bookstores, and these works have been increasingly incorporated within college courses. The Facts On File Companion to the American Short Story is an encyclopedic resource to all aspects of this literary art form. Engaging and jargon-free, with contributions from a team of scholars, The Facts On File Companion to the American Short Story is the only reference book that analyzes the genre as a whole. With more than 675 entries in A-to-Z format, it provides explanations of major critical controversies and ways to broaden the reader's interpretation of a short story. Scholars and students of various levels will find it invaluable; its bibliographies and cross references will expand further research possibilities; its definitions of literary terms contribute to more informed reading. Topic coverage includes: Author biographies and bibliographies Synopses and analyses of major stories Well-known characters Literary terms, themes, and motifs Historical events that have influenced short story writers Winners of prestigious short story prizes and awards and more. An informative introduction surveys the history of the short story in the United States, interprets the current literary landscape, and points to new and future trends. Excerpted from The Facts on File Companion to the American Short Story All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.