“Essential reading for anyone interested in the short form.... The array of writers is unprecedented, and the pieces are fabulous, engaging, and, well, they’re short!” —Gary Shteyngart
An irresistible gathering of shorts by some of the world’s most imaginative word artists. Short spans genres, languages, and centuries, to offer the tradition—and glorious present—of this popular form.
Here are hundreds of pieces of no more than 1250 words, from twenty-four Western countries, written by nearly two hundred contributors, from the sixteenth century to the present. They overrun the gamut, from short-short stories, prose poems, and brief essays to pieces that stretch and defy genre, such as tableaus, apothegms, sketches, and tropisms. They are mysterious, humorous, delightful, shocking, magical, profound, highly entertaining, laced with emotion—and addictive.
Writing that was once considered avant-garde is now in the mainstream—without losing any of its freshness and daring. Poet and essayist Christopher Middleton has said, “Short prose has a way of indicating paths into alternative universes just around the corner.” Enter the world of Short and journey along these paths.
Contributors include Michel de Montaigne, Joseph Joubert, Giacomo Leopardi, Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Baudelaire, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Rimbaud, Gertrude Stein, Max Jacob, Robert Walser, Robert Musil, Juan Ramón Jiménez, Franz Kafka, Jorge Luis Borges, Daniil Kharms, Stanley Kunitz, Samuel Beckett, E. M. Cioran, Czesław Miłosz, Octavio Paz, Clarice Lispector, Zbigniew Herbert, Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, W. S. Merwin, Donald Barthelme, Tomas Tranströmer, Russell Edson, Charles Simic, Luisa Valenzuela, Margaret Atwood, Seamus Heaney, Ron Padgett, Diane Williams, Lydia Davis, Yusef Komunyakaa, Jamaica Kincaid, Anne Carson, Meena Alexander, Ana María Shua, Jean-Michel Maulpoix, Jayne Anne Phillips, Kimiko Hahn, Etgar Keret, Ben Marcus, Dave Eggers, Ben Lerner, Amelia Gray, and many more.
About the Editor: Alan Ziegler, the distinguished author of many volumes of the short form (most recently Love at First Sight), is Professor of Writing at Columbia University's School of the Arts.
Original trade paperback / $16.95 (Can. $18.00)/ available as an e-book / ISBN 978-0-89255-432-4 / 354 pages / Introduction, Notes on the Authors, Index of Authors and Translators, Index by Genre / free, downloadable Teacher's Guide / Literature / Anthology