The short story form has its masters. Individuals who skillfully ensnare our senses and pull us through a story. We hang on until the very last word. These are the people we love of course.
We love the writers of tales that hold our attention, that tell us something. We become loyal to the myth makers and dreamers that never disappoint us. We suspend our disbelief to be thrilled and entertained by these creators we call authors.
Limping Devil Press exists because of a few of these writers. They have inspired us to take up the reins of a press. We have compiled a little list of our authors of short story. Each response is a knee-jerk reaction to the question: “Short story: who should I read?”
Apparently he signed his name Antosha when Chekhov first circulated his writing. He was chastised by his mentor, Dmitry Grigorovich , for his irreverence. Grigorovich believed Chekhov had a gift and insisted that he take it seriously. Chekhov’s “The Huntsman” convinced the published Grigorovich of Chekhov’s potential.
Chekhov is perhaps better known for his plays. His short stories enabled him to establish a reputation. Without his short stories, and the popularity they garnered for him, we may never know the the Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov.
A discussion about short story cannot really be had, in our opinion, without Gogol. To some degree, all good short stories begin with Gogol. His work generated a platform for writers of short story to leap off from. “The Overcoat” is a crucial tale and a treasure for any lover of the short story.
“The Overcoat” has been told and retold by other writers. Individuals have taken in this story about a threadbare coat and the man who wears it. The lowly clerk who is in desperate need for a little protection and comfort in the world. Though others have appropriated this tale, the original remains a classic example of the form.
Some may argue that the short story has been perfected by American writers. Although Chekhov and Gogol have brought the form into its best light, American writers have been acknowledged as the masters of short story. Pieces by writers like Charlotte Perkins Gilman support this idea. Her story “The Yellow Wallpaper” has riveted audiences for decades.
In this chilling, psychological tale, Perkins Gilman reveals the flaws of a New England family. Through an archetypal East Coast, upper middle class family, she examines the imbalanced power dynamic between men and women. The woman is naturally oppressed in this scenario and what the reader experiences is an individual’s perception of futility.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s protagonist descends into madness. The inequality of the main, female character, a woman whose name the reader is not too clear of, is a catalyst for her insanity. Perkins Gilman’s tale has made an impression on individuals. It is a well known story around Limping Devil Press.
There are certainly more crafters of the short story to list. As we continue to discuss this form, more of our favorites will be written about. We hope to include and discuss some of yours too.
Do you have any favorite short story writers? We would love to know about them.