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The 12 Best Short Stories Ever Written

It's been argued by many writers that penning a good short story is much harder than writing an entire novel. With the latter, there's plenty of space to unpack character, theme, and plot. With a short story, however, every word counts. The best short stories speak volumes within a few slim pages.
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1
The Tell-Tale Heart (Edgar Allan Poe)
The Tell-Tale Heart (Edgar Allan Poe)
2
The Lottery (Shirley Jackson)
The Lottery (Shirley Jackson)
3
The Yellow Wall-Paper (Charlotte Perkins Gilman)
The Yellow Wall-Paper (Charlotte Perkins Gilman)
4
Giovanni's Room (James Baldwin)
Giovanni's Room (James Baldwin)
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5
The Dead (James Joyce)
The Dead (James Joyce)
6
The Metamorphosis (Franz Kafka)
The Metamorphosis (Franz Kafka)
7
Hills Like White Elephants (Ernest Hemingway)
Hills Like White Elephants (Ernest Hemingway)
8
Cathedral (Raymond Carver)
Cathedral (Raymond Carver)
9
Speech Sounds (Octavia E. Butler)
Speech Sounds (Octavia E. Butler)
10
Stories of Your Life (Ted Chiang)
Stories of Your Life (Ted Chiang)
11
On the Honeymoon (Javier Marias)
On the Honeymoon (Javier Marias)
12
A Good Man Is Hard to Find (Flannery O'Connor)
A Good Man Is Hard to Find (Flannery O'Connor)
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