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The Oxford Book of American Short Stories [Paperback]

Joyce Carol Oates

RRP: 13.26
Price: 12.52 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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The Oxford Book of American Short Stories + Beginning theory (third edition): An introduction to literary and cultural theory (Beginnings) + An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory
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Product details

  • Paperback: 873 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; 2 edition (28 Aug 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199744394
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199744398
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14 x 4.1 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 370,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

In The Oxford Book of American Short Stories, Joyce Carol Oates offers a sweeping survey of American short fiction, in a collection of nearly sixty tales that combines classic works with many "different, unexpected" gems, and that invites readers to explore a wealth of important pieces by women and minority writers. Some selections simply can't be improved on, Oates admits, and she happily includes such time-honored works as Irving's "Rip Van Winkle" and Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart." But alongside these often-anthologized tales, Oates introduces such little-known stories as Mark Twain's "Cannibalism in the Cars," a work that reveals a darker side to his humor. From Melville come the juxtaposed tales "The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids," of which Oates says, "only Melville could have fashioned out of 'real' events...such harrowing and dreamlike allegorical fiction." The reader will also delight in the range of authors found here, from Charles W. Chesnutt, Jean Toomer, and Sarah Orne Jewett, to William Carlos Williams, Kate Chopin, and Langston Hughes, to Ray Bradbury, H.P. Lovecraft, and Stephen King. For the second edition, Oates has introduced a wide range of new stories from writers who represent the state of American literature today. These new works include Lorrie Moore's "How to Become a Writer," Richard Ford's "Under the Radar," Junot Diaz's "Edison, New Jersey," David Foster Wallace's "Good People," Philip Roth's "Defender of the Faith," and Amy Hempel's "Today Will Be a Quiet Day." As in the original volume, Oates provides fascinating introductions to each writer, blending biographical information with her own trenchant observations about their work. In addition, she has written a new preface that contemplates our shifting literary culture, and has revised her introductory essay to the first edition, in which she offers the fruit of years of reflection on a genre in which she herself is a master.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Choices are a little random and too many typos. 16 Jan 2013
By CanonLove - Published on Amazon.com
I didn't understand some of her choices in this collection. In the introduction she says "the challenge was to discover, wherever possible, short stories by our finest writers that were less known than the stories by these writers usually found in anthologies, yet of equal merit and interest," but for Edgar Allan Poe she included "The Tell-Tale Heart," and for Hemingway she included "Hills Like White Elephants." Both writers have a large body of work to choose from. She notes this in the introduction as well, but I disagree with her reasoning. Poe has plenty of other stories of comparable quality and length. For other writers, she chose stories that I don't think exhibited the best qualities of the authors, but were simply lesser-known stories. I also noticed that she claimed not to have room for experimental writers such as John Barth and Robert Coover, who represent a huge movement in American short fiction, but she included plenty of her little-known colleagues at Princeton (not to mention her own story--I agree that she is a notable and important American writer, but her own list of published works and awards is quite obviously three times the length of any other writers' bio; for other writers, she chose just a few important titles).
My other big complaint concerns the abundance of typos. The later in the book, the more typos, to the point where there is almost one mistake per page. The typos include things like ending sentences and even paragraphs with commas instead of periods, leaving out letters in the middle of words, omitting beginning em dashes (such as in King's "The Reach," which had more typos than any other story), and forgetting closing quotation marks, which gets very confusing in stories with lots of dialogue. Some readers aren't bothered by this, but I find it distracting. For a book attached to two such big names (Oxford and Joyce Carol Oates), I was disappointed.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection of American classics 29 Dec 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had to buy this book for one of my university classes. I first planned to sell it after the course. But it turns out that this book is a real keeper. A great collection of a variety of American short stories, that ensures that there is something to like for everyone.
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of the park 10 Mar 2014
By PyeMama - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wonderful selection of Short Stories. Introduced me to a few authors that I didn't know and some short stories by known authors that I was unaware of. A good mix ... and nice that several women have been included to the mix.
4.0 out of 5 stars Short Stories for Days 11 Feb 2014
By Anonymous Matt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great book to read. These short stories cover over different periods of genre such as the time period of realism and romanance (Honestly im just writing this review so amazon would stop sending me these emails). Great for my American literature class.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great selection of great stories 11 Oct 2013
By JohnD - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
59 stories from some of the best writers in America, past and present. Edited by Joyce Carol Oates, and she picked stories you won't find in every other similar anthology. Well worth the price; probably the best value as far as short story anthologies go.
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