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Had she not passed away at the too-young age of 39 from lupus, today would have been legendary Southern Gothic author Flannery O’Connor’s 87th birthday. To celebrate her legacy of pitch-perfect short stories and razor-sharp wit, we’ve collected a few of our favorite works from some of the best short story writers of all time, all available online — though we can’t promise reading them that way will be as satisfying as hefting a huge tome of collected stories. This is not meant to be a definitive list of the best short stories in the world, but merely a celebration of the form and a collection of ten of our many favorites, limited to those that we could track down online, to make your Sunday afternoon a little better. Click through to read ten stories from some of literature’s greats, and link us to your own favorites in the comments! “ A Good Man is Hard to Find ,” Flannery O’Connor
by Maria Popova Why Tolstoy is 11.6% better than Shakespeare. “Reading is the nourishment that lets you do interesting work,” Jennifer Egan once said . This intersection of reading and writing is both a necessary bi-directional life skill for us mere mortals and a secret of iconic writers’ success, as bespoken by their personal libraries .
From magazines, newspapers and the Internet, the most unforgettable articles that crossed our editors' desks (or screens) all year. © Nick White/Digital Vision/Thinkstock From magazines, newspapers and the Internet, the most unforgettable articles that crossed our editors’ desks (or screens) all year. 1. “ The Life Reports ” and “ The Life Reports II ,” by David Brooks, The New York Times , November 24 and November 28, 2011 Liz Vaccariello, VP, Editor-in-Chief, Chief Content Officer: “I find Brooks one of the smartest, wide-ranging columnists in the business. Almost every column feels personally relevant to me in some way.
If you’re an older author trying to break into the publishing industry, it can be remarkably depressing to constantly hear the latest buzz about breakout novels from writers who aren’t even old enough to buy beer. The phenomenon is nothing new. Christopher Paolini wrote his bestselling novel Eragon when he was only 15. Helen Oyeyemi received a six-figure advance for The Icarus Girl at 20. And Kaavya Viswanathan’s roller coaster ride from literary “it” girl to accused plagiarist began when she was just a sophomore at Harvard University. But these are merely the modern equivalents of Mary Shelley, whose Frankenstein was published when she was 19 years old, and S.E.
The long overly romanticized idea of the writer holed up in a cabin off of Walden Pond , furiously writing by candlelight and drinking warm whiskey until the wee hours is so. freaking. over. The writer of today is busy tweeting away on the Internet, connecting with like-minded folks while writing their next. big. novel. "If I am having a crappy day writing, I will on occasion send out a goofy tweet on Twitter to see how others are doing," Oak Park-based writer Gint Aras tells me via phone. "Then it will help me get through a period of blockage - but I don't think that's any different from getting on the phone and talking to a writer buddy." Writers are solitary types.