Category: Short Story Study

  • The Bus by Shirley Jackson

    I once read an article about why so few commuters were inclined to take the bus. This would have eased congestion in my home city. New Zealanders are notoriously wedded to their cars (which have only gotten bigger and bigger since the aggressive marketing of double-cab utes). Sure, we like our cars. But there’s this […]

  • Yours by Mary Robison Short Story Analysis

    An old crate label for canned pumpkin

    “Yours” is a 1982 short story by American writer Mary Robison.

  • Extra by Yiyun Li Short Story Analysis

    “Extra” is a short story by Chinese-American author Yiyun Li. Deborah Treisman and Sarah Shun-lien Bynum discuss this story in 2021 at the New Yorker Fiction podcast. This was the second story Yiyun Li published anywhere. “Extra” was included in Li’s 2005 debut collection A Thousand Years Of Good Prayers. Brilliant and original, A Thousand Years […]

  • Gallatin Canyon by Thomas McGuane Short Story Analysis

    Gallatin Canyon by Thomas McGuane header

    “Gallatin Canyon” is a short, grim road trip story by American author Thomas McGuane. This story served as the title of McGuane’s 2006 collection. In 2021, Deborah Treisman and Téa Obreht discussed its merits on the New Yorker fiction podcast. SYNOPSIS A man and a woman drive through Gallatin Canyon, toward Idaho, where the narrator […]

  • A Sheltered Woman by Yiyun Li Short Story Analysis

    “A Sheltered Woman” is a short story by Chinese-American writer Yuyun Li, and a subversion on the trope of the domestic suspense story. In a subcategory of these stories, an unstable woman enters the family home and threatens the family unit. These domestic suspense stories — in which the woman a mother trusts most turns […]

  • Afternoon in Linen by Shirley Jackson Short Story Analysis

    Kristen Roupenian joins Deborah Treisman to read and discuss “Afternoon in Linen,” by Shirley Jackson, which appeared in a 1943 issue of the New Yorker magazine. I count this story as a perfect example of the dark carnivalesque, in the same way The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier is darkly carnivalesque. Unlike a picture book […]

  • Marriage á la Mode by Katherine Mansfield Short Story Analysis

    “Marriage á la Mode” (1921) is a Modernist short story by Katherine Mansfield, first published in a December edition of The Sphere: An Illustrated Newspaper for the Home. Magazines don’t normally publish summery stories in winter, but it makes more sense to know this magazine was aimed at British citizens living in the colonies. This […]

  • Stephen King’s The Mist Story Analysis

    When you encounter mist in real life, what do you recall? Stephen King’s novella? Frank Darabont’s 2007 adaptation of Stephen King’s novella? The 2017 TV series adaptation of Stephen King’s novella? You may have even studied “The Mist” in literature class — the tertiary level equivalent of Lord of the Flies. This popular science fiction […]

  • Stone Mattress Short Story by Margaret Atwood Analysis

    1949 March, cover by Arthur Lidov ship

    “Stone Mattress” is a masterful short story written by Margaret Atwood, published in The New Yorker in 2011. You’ll also find this story in the Nine Wicked Tales collection. Some years later, in 2018, author A.M. Homes discussed this story with Deborah Treisman via the New Yorker Fiction podcast, noting that this is (unfortunately) a […]