Category Archives: Novels and Short Stories

Short and Sweet: The American Short Story

American writers of short stories used to be regarded as less prominent than novelists. In fact, many readers would anxiously await their favorite short-story authors to embark on a novel, as they considered their short stories something of a warm-up exercise. And when that novel was born, such writers would often be referred to by […]

John Cheever and the Loneliness of Suburbia

John Cheever, America’s foremost documentarian on the lifeless routines and endless yard maintenance of suburbia, made his permanent move out of Manhattan and into a Dutch Colonial farmhouse in Ossining in 1961. In 1964, “The Swimmer” was published in The New Yorker, a short story which follows a socially well-regarded and youthful man as he traverses […]

In Their Own Words: Ana Simo

Ana Simo is the author of a dozen plays, a short feature film, and countless articles. A New Yorker most of her life, she was born and raised in Cuba. Forced to leave the island during the political/homophobic witch-hunts of the late 1960s, she first immigrated to France, where she studied with Roland Barthes and participated […]

In Their Own Words: Kathleen Rooney

Kathleen Rooney is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press, a publisher of literary work in hybrid genres, and a founding member of Poems While You Wait, a team of poets and their typewriters who compose commissioned poetry on demand. She teaches English and Creative Writing at DePaul University and is the author of eight […]

Cover of The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

In Their Own Words: Kate Moore

Kate Moore is the author of The Radium Girls, the first-ever narrative non-fiction account of this inspirational true story. Kate was born in Northampton, England and grew up in Peterborough. She studied English Literature at the University of Warwick. A Sunday Times bestselling author, she writes across various genres, from biography and history to gift and humour, and […]

In Their Own Words: Eve Ewing

  Dr. Eve L. Ewing is a sociologist of education and a writer from Chicago. She is the author of Electric Arches and Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago’s South Side and the co-author of No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks. She is a scholar at the University of Chicago School of Social […]

War of the Words: Cather vs. Hemingway, 1923

In 1922, Willa Cather’s foray into the subject of World War I, One of Ours, was published by Knopf. The novel follows Claude Wheeler, a young Nebraskan who has become disappointed with the monotonous direction of his life. Wheeler yearns to dedicate himself to something besides the years of farming and marriage which stretch out […]

American Authors of Short Stories – Part Two

Katherine Anne Porter (1890-1980) was born Callie Russel Porter to Harrison Boone Porter and Mary Alice (Jones) Porter.  Her father had a cousin who was an American writer: O. Henry, whose real name was William Sydney Porter.   Perhaps those literary genes ran in the family.  When Callie was two years old, her mother died and […]

Twelve Odd Tales for Christmas

Grinches and reindeer may dominate our annual holiday folklore, yet celebrated American writers also produced seasonal gems less well known today. While these authors’ definitive literary works often overshadow minor prose, resurrect their unusual holiday tales to refresh your December reading list. Commence the Christmas countdown with the following twelve stories. “Christmastide” by H. P. […]

Ways the World Ends

Various American authors, both in-genre and out of it, have depicted the end of the world as we know it. Some are more interested in the how and why, while in others the end of the world is in the background rather than the fore. Some stories climax in the apocalypse, while others use it […]