20 Authors you must read, if you love reading short stories! A list with introductions, and you cannot miss it!

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Love Reading Short Stories? Here’s a list of 20 Must-Read Authors readbycritics literature book reviews

Diving into short stories is like grabbing a literary espresso – quick, potent, and leaves you buzzing with emotions! It’s not just about the brevity; it’s a whole vibe. Edgar Allan Poe, the OG of dark and twisted tales, messed with our minds in “The Tell-Tale Heart” and haunted houses in “The Fall of the House of Usher.” Anton Chekhov, the Russian storytelling wizard, painted intricate human portraits in “The Lady with the Dog” and had us contemplating life in “The Cherry Orchard.” Then there’s Hemingway, the master of the less-is-more mantra, who nailed it in “The Old Man and the Sea” and made us ponder choices in “Hills Like White Elephants.” And don’t get me started on Flannery O’Connor, the queen of Southern Gothic – “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” is a twisted road trip you won’t forget. Raymond Carver stripped storytelling down to its raw essentials in “Cathedral,” and Alice Munro crafts everyday magic in “The Bear Came Over the Mountain.” Marquez wove magical realism into “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings,” while Lahiri’s “Interpreter of Maladies” hits you right in the feels. Haruki Murakami? He takes the surreal to a whole new level in “The Elephant Vanishes.” Short stories pack a punch, taking you on rollercoaster rides of emotions without the commitment of a novel. Why wait for the grand finale when you can get a literary adrenaline rush in a single sitting? Reading short stories isn’t just a preference; it’s a vibe, a literary shot that leaves you craving more.


Why do I read short stories more often?

Short stories are my go-to literary fix, and let me tell you why they’re the real MVPs. First off, the time factor – it’s like speed dating for bookworms. Short stories wrap up their tales before you even have time to swipe left or right on the characters. No long-term commitments, just quick and satisfying encounters. Now, let’s talk about the brain workout. With short stories, the intellectual gym session is intense but short-lived. You flex those brain muscles without feeling the marathon burn you get from novels. It’s like a high-intensity workout, minus the sweat. And emotions? Short stories are like emotional tapas. You get a taste without getting too full or overwhelmed. It’s a snack-sized emotional rollercoaster – quick, exhilarating, and perfect for a literary pick-me-up. So, yeah, short stories are my literary soulmates – no time for commitment issues, just a whirlwind romance of words.

Are you ready?

Alright, buckle up, fellow lit enthusiasts, because I’m about to drop the mic with the ultimate list of the crème de la crème in the short story game! This isn’t just a list; it’s the VIP section of literary brilliance. We’re talking about the maestros who didn’t just write short stories; they aced the art, left an indelible mark, and turned storytelling into a high-octane thrill ride. From the eerie genius of Edgar Allan Poe to the soul-stirring tales spun by the modern marvel Jhumpa Lahiri – this list is a literary rollercoaster that’ll have you on the edge of your seat. So, get ready to take a literary joyride with the best of the best, because this list is the holy grail of short story aficionados. Let the literary adventure begin! 🚀📚


Authors you must read if you love short stories: 

1. Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849): Brace yourself for the macabre mastery of Edgar Allan Poe, the OG of the eerie and mysterious. With stories like “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Fall of the House of Usher,” Poe crafts chilling tales that crawl under your skin and linger in the shadows of your imagination.

2. Anton Chekhov (1860-1904): Enter the world of Chekhov, the Russian maestro of human complexity. In “The Lady with the Dog,” he unravels the intricacies of love and fidelity. Meanwhile, “The Cherry Orchard” is a poignant exploration of societal shifts and personal losses, showcasing Chekhov’s narrative finesse. Read more about him – Anton Chekhov.

3. Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923): Katherine Mansfield, a modernist virtuoso, invites you to savour her nuanced storytelling. “The Garden Party” unfolds a world of social nuances, while “The Daughters of the Late Colonel” dives into the psychological intricacies of grief and societal expectations.

4. Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961): Hemingway, the titan of succinct storytelling, delivers punches of emotion in “The Old Man and the Sea.” “Hills Like White Elephants” is a masterpiece of subtlety, exploring the complexities of relationships and life-altering decisions with trademark Hemingway precision.

5. Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964): Welcome to the Southern Gothic wonderland of Flannery O’Connor, where “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” takes you on a twisted road trip of morality and dark humour. Her stories, like “The Life You Save May Be Your Own,” delve into the human psyche with unflinching insight.

6. Raymond Carver (1938-1988): Raymond Carver, the minimalist magician, paints vivid pictures with few words. “Cathedral” is a testament to his ability to capture profound human connections, while his collection “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” delves into the complexities of relationships.

7. Alice Munro (1931-present): Alice Munro, the Canadian literary sorceress, enchants with “The Bear Came Over the Mountain,” a poignant exploration of ageing and memory. “Runaway,” another gem, unveils the intricate layers of human relationships in Munro’s signature style.

8. Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1927-2014): Step into the magical realist universe of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” is a fantastical exploration of faith and humanity, while “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” seamlessly blends the ordinary with the extraordinary.

9. Jhumpa Lahiri (1967-present): Jhumpa Lahiri, the literary explorer of identity and belonging, takes you on an emotional journey in “Interpreter of Maladies.” “The Namesake,” though a novel, further unravels the complexities of cultural adaptation and self-discovery in Lahiri’s exquisite prose. Read more: Jhumpa Lahiri.

10. Haruki Murakami (1949-present): Dive into the surreal wonders of Haruki Murakami’s imagination with “The Elephant Vanishes.” His stories, like literary dreams, defy reality and beckon readers into a world where the ordinary is entwined with the extraordinary.

11. O. Henry (1862-1910): O. Henry, the master of surprise endings, invites you into the world of twists and turns. “The Gift of the Magi” is a timeless classic, showcasing his knack for unexpected resolutions and heartwarming tales.

12. Isaac Bashevis Singer (1902-1991): Isaac Bashevis Singer, the Yiddish storyteller extraordinaire, captures the essence of Jewish culture and folklore. “Gimpel the Fool” is a masterpiece of humour and wisdom, showcasing Singer’s narrative prowess.

13. Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935): Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a feminist trailblazer, explores societal constraints in “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Her stories, like “The Giant Wistaria,” challenge traditional gender roles and shed light on the struggles of women in the early 20th century.

14. Roald Dahl (1916-1990): Roald Dahl, known for his whimsical tales for children, weaves dark and twisted short stories for adults. “Lamb to the Slaughter” is a deliciously wicked tale of revenge, showcasing Dahl’s versatility and storytelling genius.

15. Shirley Jackson (1916-1965): Enter the eerie world of Shirley Jackson, where “The Lottery” shocks with its societal critique. “The Haunting of Hill House” author crafts short stories like “The Summer People” that linger in the corners of your mind long after reading.

16. Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864): Nathaniel Hawthorne, a master of symbolism, invites readers to delve into the dark recesses of the human soul. “Young Goodman Brown” is a journey into the heart of sin and guilt, showcasing Hawthorne’s exploration of the human psyche.

17. Edith Wharton (1862-1937): Edith Wharton, known for her novels, also crafted poignant short stories. “Roman Fever” is a tale of hidden emotions and societal expectations, demonstrating Wharton’s keen understanding of the complexities of human relationships.

18. Franz Kafka (1883-1924): Franz Kafka, the literary genius of absurdity, introduces readers to surreal and existential dilemmas. “The Metamorphosis” is a masterpiece of existential horror, while “A Hunger Artist” delves into the complexities of artistic suffering.

19. Joyce Carol Oates (1938-present): Joyce Carol Oates, a prolific and versatile writer, explores the dark corners of the human experience. “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” is a haunting tale of adolescence, showcasing Oates’ ability to capture the complexities of growing up.

20. Sherwood Anderson (1876-1941): Sherwood Anderson, a key figure in American modernism, brings small-town America to life in “Winesburg, Ohio.” His short stories, like “Hands,” offer intimate portraits of individuals grappling with the challenges of rural existence.


There you have it – the literary A-team of short story maestros, each with their unique flair and narrative magic!


Hope you enjoy your time with these authors and their brilliant short stories! All the best! Happy Reading!


Article and List by Ashish for ReadByCritics Book Blog

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