Stories that I’ll be teaching this fall #teaching #writing #shortstories

booksEach semester I teach a dozen or so stories to my fiction classes. I always keep a few of my favorites, teach them again and again. But I throw a handful of new stories in each semester. It’s a strange struggle to find stories that I love and that I think will resonate with students. Sometimes, what I think will resonate, falls flat. And often, those stories that I think will be a tough sell, really hit home. I’ve been combing through some books looking for the right stuff. Here’s what I’ve come up with:

  1. “Going” by Amy Hempel
  2. “Boys” by Rick Moody
  3. “We Make Mud” by Peter Markus
  4. “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor
  5. “Good for Your Soul” by Tim Gautreaux
  6. “Kansas” by Stephen Dobyns
  7. “North Country” by Roxanne Gay
  8. “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” by Raymond Carver
  9. “What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank” by Nathan Englander
  10. “Safari” by Jennifer Egan
  11. “The City in the Light of Moths” by Tim Horvath
  12. “Murke’s Collected Silences” by Heinrich Boll
  13. “The Last Speaker of the Language” by Carol Anshaw
  14. “Means of Suppressing Demonstrations” by Shani Boianjiu
  15. “Clear Over Target, the Whole Town in Flames” by Fiona Maazel
  16. “Hot Ice” by Stuart Dybek
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3 thoughts on “Stories that I’ll be teaching this fall #teaching #writing #shortstories

  1. Is there a flow? Do they connect, somehow? Is there a sort of meta arc or theme (not to plots but to styles, rhythms) ? Is this like a playlist? Are they designed to leave an impression as a whole unit?

  2. Not necessarily. And I’m not 100% sure of the order. I pick stories I like and then try to focus conversation around their strengths–character, scene, etc. What usually happens is a theme develops in our conversation that connects the stories in unexpected ways.

  3. i’m trying to teach a writing class how to write short stories through short stories. so to bring out characterization i used “a man who had no eyes” because the contrast is so strong… what stories would you recommend for dialogue, structure, more characterization??

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