A Companion to the American Short Story
Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture
Editor: Alfred Bendixen
Editor: James Nagel
A Companion to the American Short Story traces the development of this versatile literary genre over the
past 200 years.
Sets the short story in context, paying attention to the interaction of cultural forces and aesthetic
Contributes to the ongoing redefinition of the American canon, with close attention to the achievements of
women writers as well as such important genres as the ghost story and detective fiction
Embraces diverse traditions including African-American, Jewish-American, Latino, Native-American, and
regional short story writing
Includes a section focused on specific authors and texts, from Edgar Allen Poe to John Updike
Alfred Bendixen, Professor of English at Texas A& M University, is the founder of the American Literature
Association, which he currently serves as Executive Director. His books include Haunted Women (1985),
an edition of the composite novel, The Whole Family (1986), "The Amber Gods" and other stories by
Harriet Prescott Spofford, (1989), and Edith Wharton: New Critical Essays (1992). He is the associate
editor of the Continuum Encyclopedia of American Literature (1999), the co-editor of the recently
published Cambridge Companion to American Travel Writing (2009), and one of the five contributing
editors to the forthcoming Wadsworth Anthology of American Literature.
James Nagel is the Eidson Distinguished Professor of American Literature at the University of Georgia.
Early in his career he founded the scholarly journal Studies in American Fiction and the widely influential
series Critical Essays on American Literature. Among his twenty books are Stephen Crane and Literary
Impressionism, Hemingway in Love and War (which was made into a Hollywood film directed by Lord
Richard Attenborough), and The Contemporary American Short-Story Cycle. He has published some
eighty articles in the field, and he has lectured on American literature in fifteen countries. In 2005, he was
given the lifetime achievement award for contributions to the field by the American Literature Association.
"This accessible and attractive volume is split into four sections offering a history of the American short
story. The first three are presented chronologically, with chapters on stories from the nineteenth and
twentieth centuries and a transitional period in between . . . For all readers, it is what such a Companion
should be-a ladder that the newly enthused short-story reader will climb, only to move onto higher