Cassie in a Blanket


Listed in no particular order. I forced myself to choose only one story per writer (very difficult in some cases). There is a lot of amazing short fiction out there, but these are stories—of various styles—that have stuck with me over the years and have taught me what a story can be. I’m sure I’m forgetting a lot of gems.

  1. “Wakefield” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  2. “Berenice” by Edgar Allan Poe
  3. “The Lady with the Lap Dog” by Chekhov
  4. “The Overcoat” by Gogol
  5. “The Necklace” by Guy Maupassant
  6. “A Hunger Artist” by Franz Kafka
  7. “The Dead” by James Joyce
  8. “The Secret Life of Walter Middy” by James Thurber
  9. “Barn Burning” by William Faulkner
  10. “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson
  11. “The Snows of Kilamanjaro” by Ernest Hemingway
  12. “Friend of My Youth” by Alice Munro
  13. “When We Were Nearly Young” by Mavis Gallant
  14. “Work” by Denis Johnson
  15. “Wants” by Grace Paley
  16. “The Swimmer” by John Cheever
  17. “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor
  18. “Hitch-Hikers” by Eudora Welty
  19. “The Laughing Man” by J.D. Salinger
  20. “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver
  21. “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried” by Amy Hempel
  22. “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin
  23. “In the Heart of the Heart of the Country” by William Gass
  24. “After Rain” by William Trevor
  25. “White Angel” by Michael Cunningham
  26. “Girl” by Jamaica Kinkaid
  27. “A Rich Man” by Edward P. Jones
  28. “Do Not Disturb” by A.M. Homes
  29. “Twenty Minutes” by James Salter
  30. “Happy Memories” by Lydia Davis
  31. “Screenwriter” by Charles D’Ambrosio
  32. “Memory Wall” by Anthony Doerr
  33. “L. Debard and Aliette” by Lauren Groff
  34. “Bullet in the Brain” by Tobias Wolff
  35. “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien
  36. “Boys Town” by Jim Shepard
  37. “The Fat Girl” by Andre Dubus
  38. “Pastoralia” by George Saunders
  39. “Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned” by Wells Tower
  40. “Men Under Water” by Ralph Lombreglia
  41. “All the Way in Flagstaff, Arizona” by Richard Bausch
  42. “Brownies” by Z.Z. Packer
  43. “Hell-Heaven” by Jhumpa Lahiri
  44. “Sindbad” by Donald Barthelme
  45. “I Used to Live Here Once” by Jean Rhys
  46. “The Girl Detective” by Kelly Link
  47. “Sororally” by Gary Lutz
  48. “Train” by Joy Williams
  49. “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves” by Karen Russell
  50. “The Magic Poker” by Robert Coover
  51. “Lady” by Diane Williams
  52. “Love and Honour and Pity and Pride and Compassion and Sacrifice” by Nam Le
  53. “Natasha” by David Bezmozgis
  54. “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates
  55. “A Spoiled Man” by Daniyal Mueenuddin
  56. “Rock Springs” by Richard Ford
  57. “The Custodian” by Deborah Eisenberg
  58. “In the Gloaming” by Alice Elliott Dark
  59. “You’re Ugly, Too” by Lorrie Moore
  60. “A Romantic Weekend” by Mary Gaitskill
  61. “Blessed Assurance” by Allan Gurganus
  62. “The Half-Skinned Steer” by Annie Proulx
  63. “Drown” by Junot Diaz
  64. “Immortality” by Yiyun Li
  65. “Sun City” by Caitlin Horrocks
  66. “None of the Above” by Suzanne Rivecca
  67. “Virgins” by Danielle Evans
  68. “Safari” by Jennifer Egan
  69. “Testimony of Pilot” by Barry Hannah
  70. “These Hands” by Kevin Brockmeier