Reading List

For AWP 2011, a panel entitled “Linking It Up: Working with Story Cycles, Linked Collections, and Novels in Stories” with Cathy Day, Cliff Garstang, Dylan Landis, and Anne Sanow

Here is our list of possible linked collections, novels in stories, and story cycles—by no means exhaustive.  Some of these are linked through character or setting; some employ full story arcs across stories or sections; others are more loosely linked.  Some, like Please Don't Come Back from the Moon and Oscar Wao, are considered novels, even by their authors. We hope that you find this a good place to start!

Julia Alvarez, How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents
Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio
Jabari Asim, A Taste of Honey
Dean Bakopoulous, Please Don’t Come Back from the Moon
Melissa Bank, The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing
Russell Banks, Trailerpark and The Sweet Hereafter
Djuana Barnes, Nightwood
Andrea Barrett, Ship Fever
Rebecca Barry, Later, at the Bar
Matt Bell, Wolf Parts
Wendell Berry, Fidelity
Belle Boggs, Mattaponi Queen
Ray Bradbury, The Illustrated Man
Robert Olen Butler, Tabloid Dreams and A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
Dan Chaon, Among the Missing
Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street
Evan S. Connell, Mr. Bridge and Mrs. Bridge
Justin Cronin, Mary and O’Neil
Ron Currie, Jr., God is Dead
Edwidge Danticat, The Dew Breaker
Cathy Day, The Circus in Winter
Junot Dìaz, Drown and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Harriet Doerr, Stones for Ibarra
Lesley Dormen, The Best Place to Be
Stuart Dybek, The Coast of Chicago and I Sailed with Magellan
Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Good Squad
Louise Erdrich, Love Medicine
Andrew Ervin, Extraordinary Renditions
William Faulkner, The Unvanquished and Go Down, Moses
Mavis Gallant, Varieties of Exile
Cristina García, The Lady Matador’s Hotel
Clifford Garstang, In an Uncharted Country
Ellen Gilchrist, In the Land of Dreamy Dreams
Julia Glass, I See You Everywhere
Jean Harfenist, A Brief History of the Flood
Ernest Hemingway, In Our Time
Aleksandar Hemon, Love and Obstacles
Zora Neale Hurston, Mules and Men
Beverly Jensen, The Sisters from Hardscrabble Bay
Barb Johnson, More of This World or Maybe Another
Denis Johnson, Jesus’ Son
Edward P. Jones, Lost in the City and All Aunt Hagar’s Children
James Joyce, Dubliners
Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior
Jamaica Kinkaid, Annie John
Marshall Klimasewiski, Tyrants (the three JunHee and Tanner stories)
Jhumpa Lahiri, “Once in a Lifetime,” “Year’s End,” and “Going Ashore” (the Hema and Kaushik stories in Unaccustomed Earth)
Laila Lalami, Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits
Dylan Landis, Normal People Don’t Live Like This
John McNally, The Book of Ralph
Susan Minot, Monkeys
Lorrie Moore, Anagrams
David Philip Mullins, Greetings from Below
Alice Munro, “Chance,” “Soon,” and “Silence” (three Juliet stories in Runaway) and The Beggar Maid: Stories of Flo and Rose
Sabina Murray, The Caprices
Gloria Naylor, The Women of Brewster Street
Darlin’ Neal, Rattlesnakes & the Moon
Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried
Whitney Otto, How to Make an American Quilt
Donald Ray Pollock, Knockemstiff
Katherine Anne Porter, “Old Mortality” and “Pale Horse, Pale Rider” (from Pale Horse, Pale Rider)
Annie Proulx, Close Range, Bad Dirt, and Fine Just the Way It Is
Imad Rahman, I Dream of Microwaves
Ethel Rohan, Hard to Say
Anne Sanow, Triple Time
Elissa Schappell, Use Me
David Schickler, Kissing in Manhattan
Heather Sellers, Georgia Under Water
Joan Silber, Ideas of Heaven
Margot Singer, The Pale of Settlement
Mark Slouka, Lost Lake
John Steinbeck, Pastures of Heaven, Tortilla Flat, and The Red Pony
Elizabeth Strout, Olive Kitteridge
Mary Swan, The Boys in the Trees
Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club
Jean Toomer, Cane
Susan Vreeland, Girl in Hyacinth Blue
Kate Walbert, Our Kind and A Short History of Women
Josh Weil, The New Valley
Eudora Welty, The Golden Apples
Thornton Wilder, The Bridge of San Luis Rey
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway’s Party
Richard Wright, Uncle Tom’s Children
Paul Yoon, Once the Shore

Another Reading List....

Short Story Cycles, Linked Stories, Novels-in-Stories:
A Brief Bibliography

Thematically Unified Cycles

  • John Updike. Trust Me.
  • Russell Banks.  Success Stories.
  • Joyce Carol Oates.  Faithless: Tales of Transgression.
  • Antonya Nelson.  Female Trouble. 
  • Hannah Tinti.  Animal Crackers.
  • Joan Silber.  Ideas of Heaven.

Cycles Unified by Subgenre or Form

  • Robert Olen Butler.  Tabloid Dreams.
  • Daniel Stern.  Twice Told Tales.
  • Joyce Carol Oates.  The Assignation.
  • Italo Calvino.  Cosmicomics.
  • Lorrie Moore.  Self Help.

Historical Epoch/Era-Based Cycles

  • F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Tales of the Jazz Age.
  • Ernest Hemingway.  In Our Time.
  • Adam Braverman.  Mr. Lincoln’s Wars.
  • Kate Walbert.  Our Kind.

Place-Based Cycles

  • James Joyce.  Dubliners.
  • John Steinbeck. The Long Valley.
  • James Baldwin.  Going to Meet the Man.
  • John Updike.  Olinger Stories.
  • Edward P. Jones.  Lost in the City.

Culture- or Community-Based Cycles

  • Geoffrey Chaucer.  The Canterbury Tales.
  • Sherwood Anderson.  Winesburg, Ohio.
  • Russell Banks.  Trailerpark.
  • Gloria Naylor.  The Women of Brewster Place.
  • Garrison Keillor.  Lake Wobegon Days.
  • Robert Olen Butler.  A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain.
  • Crystal Wilkinson.  Water Street.
  • Tim O’Brien.  The Things They Carried.

Family-Centered Cycles

  • William Faulkner.  Go Down, Moses.
  • Louise Erdrich.  Love Medicine.
  • Anne Tyler.  Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant
  • Susan Minot.  Monkeys.
  • Cristina Garcia.  Dreaming in Cuban.
  • T. M. McNally.  Low Flying Aircraft.
  • K. L. Cook.  Last Call.

Central Protagonist/Couple-Centered Cycles

  • F. Scott Fitzgerald.  The Basil & Josephine Stories.
  • Ernest Hemingway.  The Nick Adams Stories.
  • John Updike.  Too Far to Go.  The Complete Henry Bech.
  • David Huddle.  Only the Little Bone.
  • Alice Munro.  The Beggar Maid: Stories of Rose and Flo.
  • Isabel Huggan.  The Elizabeth Stories.
  • Melissa Pritchard.  Disappearing Ingenue: The Misadventures of Eleanor Stoddard. .
  • Justin Cronin.  Mary and O’Neil.

Critical Studies about Story Cycles (Select)

·        George R. Clay.  “Structuring the Short Story Novel.”  The Writer’s Chronicle (December 1998).  Vol. 31.3. 23-31.

·        Maggie Dunn and Ann Morris. The Composite Novel: The Short Story Cycle in Transition. Twayne's Studies in Literary Themes and Genres. New York: Twayne, 1995.

·        Laura Morgan Green. “The Novel in Stories.” Poets & Writers. July/Aug. 2001: 16-19.

·        J. Gerald Kennedy, ed.  Modern American Short Story Sequences.  Cambridge University Press, 1995. 

·        Susan Garland Mann.  The Short Story Cycle: A Genre Companion & Reference Guide.Greenwood Press. Westport, Conn. 1988.

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