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Great Short Stories by American Women

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Embracing a wide variety of subjects, this choice collection of 13 short stories represents the work of an elite group of American women writing in the 19th and 20th centuries. The earliest stories are Rebecca Harding Davis' naturalistic "Life in the Iron Mills" (published in 1861 and predating Émile Zola's Germinal by almost 25 years) and Louisa May Alcott's semiautobiogr Embracing a wide variety of subjects, this choice collection of 13 short stories represents the work of an elite group of American women writing in the 19th and 20th centuries. The earliest stories are Rebecca Harding Davis' naturalistic "Life in the Iron Mills" (published in 1861 and predating Émile Zola's Germinal by almost 25 years) and Louisa May Alcott's semiautobiographical tale "Transcendental Wild Oats" (1873). The most recent ones are Zora Neale Hurston's "Sweat," an ironic tale of contested loyalty. In between is a grand cavalcade of superbly crafted fiction by Sarah Orne Jewett, Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Kate Chopin, Willa Cather, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Djuna Barnes, Susan Glaspell and Edith Wharton. Brief biographies of each of the writers are included.


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Embracing a wide variety of subjects, this choice collection of 13 short stories represents the work of an elite group of American women writing in the 19th and 20th centuries. The earliest stories are Rebecca Harding Davis' naturalistic "Life in the Iron Mills" (published in 1861 and predating Émile Zola's Germinal by almost 25 years) and Louisa May Alcott's semiautobiogr Embracing a wide variety of subjects, this choice collection of 13 short stories represents the work of an elite group of American women writing in the 19th and 20th centuries. The earliest stories are Rebecca Harding Davis' naturalistic "Life in the Iron Mills" (published in 1861 and predating Émile Zola's Germinal by almost 25 years) and Louisa May Alcott's semiautobiographical tale "Transcendental Wild Oats" (1873). The most recent ones are Zora Neale Hurston's "Sweat," an ironic tale of contested loyalty. In between is a grand cavalcade of superbly crafted fiction by Sarah Orne Jewett, Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Kate Chopin, Willa Cather, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Djuna Barnes, Susan Glaspell and Edith Wharton. Brief biographies of each of the writers are included.

30 review for Great Short Stories by American Women

  1. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I just read "The Yellow Room" at midnight last night - very creepy. Don't read this one late at night! Another one I really liked in this collection is "A Jury of Her Peers." These two women are patronized by the men but they are the smart ones, and keep their discovery under wraps from the men! Also, "Sweat," by Zora Neale Hurston with a cold, cruel, yet satisfying ending. I just read "The Yellow Room" at midnight last night - very creepy. Don't read this one late at night! Another one I really liked in this collection is "A Jury of Her Peers." These two women are patronized by the men but they are the smart ones, and keep their discovery under wraps from the men! Also, "Sweat," by Zora Neale Hurston with a cold, cruel, yet satisfying ending.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tocotin

    I bought this a while ago, and had read maybe the first two pages of the first story, but it was too sad and bleak for me at that time, so I set it aside. I picked it up again after considerable time, and read the first story in two and a half sittings (on the train, and in between making pancakes). It was Life in the Iron Mills by Rebecca Harding Davis – a naturalistic story about people who worked themselves to death, and could expect nothing good from life, save for maybe some booze-induced m I bought this a while ago, and had read maybe the first two pages of the first story, but it was too sad and bleak for me at that time, so I set it aside. I picked it up again after considerable time, and read the first story in two and a half sittings (on the train, and in between making pancakes). It was Life in the Iron Mills by Rebecca Harding Davis – a naturalistic story about people who worked themselves to death, and could expect nothing good from life, save for maybe some booze-induced moments of oblivion. If they experience vague yearnings for culture, art etc., they suffer even more. The story centers a guy, but I thought that the poor hunchbacked girl who was in love with him had it worse. It's a fatalistic, hopeless story – but I really loved the voice. It was poetic in the best sense of the word – lucid, melodious, and passionate. Transcendental Wild Oats by Louisa May Alcott. Oh, I absolutely loved the title, but the story was sad and, frankly, infuriating – I mean that the content was infuriating, not the writing itself, although, well... maybe the writing was too, a bit, now that I think about it. It's a semi-autobiographical tale of a tiny religious community, whose members are supposed to rely on themselves only, not use medicine or modern inventions, not eat or use animals, etc. The burden of everyday care for the children and menfolk alike rests on the shoulders of the sole woman in the group; you can imagine how it went. The voice of the piece is light and cheerful, sometimes forcedly, unnaturally so. I wanted most of the characters to die and no one did. Gah! I guess it was too gentle and forgiving for my tastes (and I like to think I'm VERY forgiving!) A White Heron by Sarah Orne Jewett is a thoroughly lovely tale of Sylvia, who lives with her grandma on a little farm surrounded by forests and general wilderness. Little Sylvia – I think she is about nine years old, no more than twelve – introduces herself as "Sylvy" and generally doesn't talk much. She loves the farm, the grandma, the stubborn cow, the birds... she loves everything (and I love her). One day she meets a young ornithologist, who wanders the forests looking for the elusive white heron... I won't spoil the story. I adore everything about it. Now A New England Nun and the Kate Chopin story, The Storm, were both quite satisfactory for me, although I felt really, really bad for the poor dog in the first one. No, don't worry, the dog doesn't die, but he's being fed with cake and bread... I don't know, I just couldn't get over it. I would have loved the story if the main character gave the dog meat. "The Storm" was just lovely, probably the best, most cheerful and optimistic story ever that deals with the topic of adultery. I liked the style too. Paul's Case by Willa Cather absolutely rocked my socks. Not much happens in it, it's mostly a character study, and yet a lot happens – it describes nearly a whole life of a person, distilled into a few intense, memorable moments. The main character is not even particularly likable, I didn't care what happened to him, I didn't look forward to the story itself being unfolded; what I looked forward to was the presentation of the world of that story. It was so engrossing that I almost missed my station. The Wharton story was nice and touching, but not quite in the same way. It felt more like a construct, something written to prove a point, and its language was a bit tedious. Or maybe it's that I'm a bit impatient with Wharton recently... This year I finished the last five stories. First, The Stones of the Village by Alice Dunbar-Nelson. It was a solid story about a Black man passing for White. I must say that I pretty much trembled the whole time, and rooted for the hero even though his actions were full-on questionable. It did make me want to read more by this author. A Jury of Her Peers by Susan Glaspell – superb. It's beautifully structured, full of suspense and of compassion, and it has a good ending! It's about three women, one of them, Minnie, is temporarily in jail, because she's suspected to have murdered her husband, and the other two are "just women" (one is the sheriff's wife, one is Minnie's childhood friend) brought in to take some things Minnie might need in jail, and to answer the condescending questions from the men, who just can't be arsed to listen to those women properly, and so they lose without even knowing they did. From the looks of it, Minnie will be acquitted. (Is that a spoiler?) Smoke by Djuna Barnes. Ha! I sort of knew what I was getting into, even though I hadn't read Djuna Barnes before. And I really did my best to understand, but I'm afraid I didn't do too well... there were some interesting, let's say, turns of phrase, but as a whole the meaning of the story eluded me. Sweat by Zora Neale Hurston. This story was OK. I did feel bad for the main character, but there was some serious fat shaming going on, and to be honest I also felt bad and anxious for the snake. Also, I don't know why, but the use of the dialect in dialogue only was distracting; I didn't have the same problem with Their Eyes Were Watching God, though. Hmm. Sanctuary by Nella Larsen. This one was short and powerful. It's about the strength and solidarity of the Black community in face of a tragedy. Can't really say more because I don't want to spoil it. To sum it up, I am glad that I read this anthology. My favorite stories were A Jury of Her Peers, Paul's Case, The Storm and A White Heron – the latter possibly the favorite.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bob

    Like all short story collections, I liked some more than others. That said I admired all of them and also discovered several new authors that I will seek out in the future. I am a bit of a short story enthusiast and this collection was put together with great care. It is a Kindle acquisition, and didn't cost much. I don't know if it is offered in print, either way one can and should attain this, it is well worth the time spent reading. Like all short story collections, I liked some more than others. That said I admired all of them and also discovered several new authors that I will seek out in the future. I am a bit of a short story enthusiast and this collection was put together with great care. It is a Kindle acquisition, and didn't cost much. I don't know if it is offered in print, either way one can and should attain this, it is well worth the time spent reading.

  4. 5 out of 5

    John Turner

    One of the best stories in the book, in my humble opinion, “The Yellow Wall-Paper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, was made into a short film, included here. https://youtu.be/iAtMU_BW-0k One of the best stories in the book, in my humble opinion, “The Yellow Wall-Paper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, was made into a short film, included here. https://youtu.be/iAtMU_BW-0k

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ejayen

    Thank you to the reviewer who typed this list up. They are using to mark what they've read and how they rate it, but as I'm finished it will just be ratings Rebecca Harding Davis (1831-1910) / Life in the Iron-Mills--1 Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) / Transcendental Wild Oats--2 Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909) / A White Heron--4 Mary E. Wilkins Freeman (1852-1930) / A New England Nun--4 Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) / The Yellow Wallpaper--1 Kate Chopin (1851-1904) / The Storm--1 Edith Wharton (186 Thank you to the reviewer who typed this list up. They are using to mark what they've read and how they rate it, but as I'm finished it will just be ratings Rebecca Harding Davis (1831-1910) / Life in the Iron-Mills--1 Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) / Transcendental Wild Oats--2 Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909) / A White Heron--4 Mary E. Wilkins Freeman (1852-1930) / A New England Nun--4 Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) / The Yellow Wallpaper--1 Kate Chopin (1851-1904) / The Storm--1 Edith Wharton (1862-1937) / The Angel at the Grave--2 Willa Cather (1873-1947) / Paul's Case: A Study in Temperament--1 Alice Dunbar-Nelson (1875-1935) / The Stones of the Village--2 Susan Glaspell (1876-1948) / A Jury of Her Peers--3 Djuna Barnes (1892-1982) / Smoke--1 Zora Neale Hurston (c. 1891-1960) / Sweat--1 Nella Larsen (c. 1893-1964) / Sanctuary--1 Average rating 1.84 I'll give it two stars and say if these are great, I don't care to read bad. And boy are short stories miserable

  6. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The surge in popularity of sentimental stories in the latter part of the 19th century America was both a boon and a bane to the increasing numbers of new women writers wanting to have a go. Louisa M. Alcott had much more enjoyment writing "blood and thunder" tales and papers on abolition and woman's suffrage yet is mostly remembered as a children's writer. Typical, as well, is Rebecca Harding Davis who, while most people were caught up with slavery questions and state's rights, investigated the conditi The surge in popularity of sentimental stories in the latter part of the 19th century America was both a boon and a bane to the increasing numbers of new women writers wanting to have a go. Louisa M. Alcott had much more enjoyment writing "blood and thunder" tales and papers on abolition and woman's suffrage yet is mostly remembered as a children's writer. Typical, as well, is Rebecca Harding Davis who, while most people were caught up with slavery questions and state's rights, investigated the conditions and lives of the mill hands and wrote a compelling story "Life in the Iron Mills" that drew praise from Nathanial Hawthorne. Apparently some contemporary reviewers called it melodramatic, today it comes across with unrelenting grimness as it describes an incident involving Wolf, a factory worker, struggling to find dignity and understanding, and who is also a gifted sculptor. L.M. Alcott's story "Transcendental Wild Oats" was autobiographical. Her father's impecuniousness kept the family constantly poor and this story is based on life at "Fruitlands", a utopian community that Mr. Alcott thought was going to be their salvation. Sarah Orne Jewett was classified as just a regional writer until Willa Cather made her known to the wider world. Her story is of a little back woods girl and her affinity to a rare white heron. I especially liked Mary E. Wilkins Freeman story "A New England Nun", about a very long engagement and how it is resolved to everyone's benefit. It has beautiful descriptive writing and gives you a real feeling of rural life in the 1890s. Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" is an extraordinary story of a woman's experience of post partum depression before it was recognised as a genuine illness. One hundred years ago women just had nervous complaints and the "cure" was usually complete rest, no stimulus of any kind. Just hell to someone like Gilman who needed to write and felt like a prisoner. She did manage to put her feelings into this story, with even a special mention of the real life doctor, C. Weir Mitchell whose book "Lectures on the Diseases of the Nervous System - Especially in Women" was all the rage in 1881. The way Gilman describes her room - it was once a nursery or a gymnasium - she describes it as an asylum with peeling paper and rings drilled into the wall. Kate Chopin "The Storm" is a very short, explicit description of a moment's passion during a storm and the end paragraph indicates it is only a beginning. Edith Wharton's "The Angel at the Grave" reminds me of Henry James' "The Golden Bowl" - it is about a grand daughter's striving to make sure a writer, who has slipped into obscurity, and his writings are not forgotten. Typical Wharton which means it's one of my most enjoyed stories in the book. Willa Cather's Paul is a square peg in a round hole, an Oscar Wilde in the making complete with a red carnation always in his buttonhole. He is mad about amateur theatricals, not to be an actor but to be part of the magical atmosphere so different from his ordinary life where a 26 year old neighbour with 4 children is held up as a shining example. And of the act he performs to bring fantasy to reality. Weirdly, yellow wallpaper figures in this story as well. Paul equates it with everything hateful about his past. "A Jury of Her Peers" was all about an unseen woman who may or may not have murdered her husband and the picture of her poignant life which is built up between a conversation with two neighbourhood women. "The Stones of the Street" is just a terrific story about a light skinned Afro-American who after a miserable, friendless childhood has prospered through the legacy of his first employer, a bookseller. Victor has passed for white and is now an up and coming lawyer with an unbending attitude towards the defence of "blacks" until a man who knows his past resorts to blackmail. Other stories included by Djuna Barnes and Zora Neale Hurston. Highly recommended.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Life in the Iron-Mills by Rebecca Harding-Davis: On the one hand, I loathe this story because it is so bleak, but on the other hand, this story is not only one of the best examples of Realism and industrialism in American literature, but it also has a lot to say about the nature of art, the nature of artists, and where and how art comes from, and also manages to cover the Nature of Humanity 101. Transcendental Wild Oats by Louisa May Alcott: I feel like the audience’s reaction was probably “HAHA T Life in the Iron-Mills by Rebecca Harding-Davis: On the one hand, I loathe this story because it is so bleak, but on the other hand, this story is not only one of the best examples of Realism and industrialism in American literature, but it also has a lot to say about the nature of art, the nature of artists, and where and how art comes from, and also manages to cover the Nature of Humanity 101. Transcendental Wild Oats by Louisa May Alcott: I feel like the audience’s reaction was probably “HAHA THIS IS HILARIOUS LOOK AT THESE DUMB HIPPIES” but Alcott was like “No seriously this is way too real and needs to stop.” Sister Hope for the Iron Throne? A White Heron by Sarah Orne Jewett: I want to eat Jewett’s words right up. This story is surprisingly magical but in a “Let’s hunt magic down and kill it” sort of way. A New England Nun by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman: This is an odd one, about how promises can become cages and the things we think are cages are actually freedoms. I don’t know. I can never decide if I feel bad for Louisa or envious of her. The Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman: I had to read this one for school several times but it was never a chore. This story is terrifying in a quiet, escalating way. I love the juxtaposition between the freedom the character feels at the end and the fact that she’s more trapped than ever before. Perfect. The Storm by Kate Chopin: Oh, Kate. I can always count on you for socially heretical sexy adventures in a rainstorm. The Angel at the Grave by Edith Wharton: Another story where I’m not sure if we’re supposed to feel hopeful or not at the ending. Lots of sacrifice on the protagonist’s part ends with ambiguous pay-off. Or was she really sacrificing anything? I CAN’T DECIDE. Paul’s Case by Willa Cather: Paul takes the line “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women in it merely players” a little TOO SERIOUSLY. I love how it both upholds and condemns the maxim “Money can’t buy happiness.” The Stones of the Village by Alice Dunbar-Nelson: A story about passing for what you are not and getting some of what you want but never WHAT YOU NEED. A Jury of Her Peers by Susan Glaspell: One of my favorite short stories of all time. A man has died and while the male officials investigate, their wives discuss the matter. FLAWLESS. PERFECT. Please read it. Smoke by Djuna Barnes: I didn’t really get it but I expect that’s my own fault and not the story’s. Sweat by Zora Neale Hurston: I really struggle with reading dialects, but this was a good suspenseful story with a twist and some really good images. Bad marriages and bad snakes. SNAKES, MAN. Sanctuary by Nella Larsen: This story gave me chills all over my body. Sometimes you think you’re safe and you realize you’ve picked the absolute worst place to hide ever. This was definitely one of my favorites.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    This is a great anthology although incomplete. It is a good starter book for someone who wants to become familiar with female American writers. It covers a range of styles and topics and at the very least entices the reader to discover more female writers.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Edwina Jesby

    This is a wonderful collection of women writers. It is an important collection not just for women but for anyone who loves literature. It is a powerful history of women and astoundingly brilliant stories. I recommend it to all women and men.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kristen Alexander

    I haven't read all of the stories but can base my rating on those I have. A great variety of styles and subjects, and the short story makes available to me a wider range than I would seek out on my own. Favorite by far, Sarah Orne Jewett's "A White Heron." And I couldn't put down "Paul's Case" by Willa Cather. Not that it was pretty or pleasant; but the character and descriptions of his surroundings were peculiar and interesting. I haven't read all of the stories but can base my rating on those I have. A great variety of styles and subjects, and the short story makes available to me a wider range than I would seek out on my own. Favorite by far, Sarah Orne Jewett's "A White Heron." And I couldn't put down "Paul's Case" by Willa Cather. Not that it was pretty or pleasant; but the character and descriptions of his surroundings were peculiar and interesting.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rosanne

    Overall, it’s okay, but I’m not a fan of short stories in general. They tend to be dramatic and depressing. I enjoyed the ones by Willa Cather and Zora Neale Hurston, who are both authors I like regardless. A couple other okay ones, some really weird ones and then downright sad ones.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Robertson

    I literally found this book, which made it interesting to start with. It was mixed in with a magazine rack at Walgreens. It was a battered copy, and didn't look like something Walgreens would be selling. I asked the clerk if it was for sale. She said it didn't look like it was their property, but tried to scan it anyway and it wouldn't scan. She said someone must have left it there so go ahead and take it. Okay, great deal and I wanted to read some more Classics anyway. I had previously read the I literally found this book, which made it interesting to start with. It was mixed in with a magazine rack at Walgreens. It was a battered copy, and didn't look like something Walgreens would be selling. I asked the clerk if it was for sale. She said it didn't look like it was their property, but tried to scan it anyway and it wouldn't scan. She said someone must have left it there so go ahead and take it. Okay, great deal and I wanted to read some more Classics anyway. I had previously read the yellow wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. I liked that story a lot and read a collection of her Works a few years back. I enjoyed reading that again. I found most of the stories quite interesting, using my imagination I let them transport me to a different time. I was not a fan of the first story, Life in the Iron Mills. The vernacular just made it too tough to read for me, and there was a word, I think it was "korl" that came up several times. Not only do I not know that word, but Google doesn't know it either! Can anyone help me out with that? So I didn't finish that story. I was really into Smoke by Djuna Barnes. Though I found the ending a little disappointing and falling so flat, I decided to read more of her stories and ordered a collection from the library. So I am curious as to whether Djuna Barnes was of African American descent? It seems that she was writing from that point of view, but when I Googled her picture I can not tell. I loved reading all of the little author biographies. I was very surprised to see that so many of these women were college educated in a day when it was so rare for women to pursue higher education. I am definitely glad that I read this collection!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte

    This was a collection of famous classic short stories written by American Women. Before each short story was a short biography about the author, which was nice. I read it for the Read Women 2019 Challenge. Although these stories are classics, I had only ever read one before, which makes me sad. Probably my two favorite stories were "White Heron" by Sarah Orne Jewett, and "A Jury of Her Peers" by Susan Glaspell. White Heron has to do with a young girl deciding between a man she likes and the live This was a collection of famous classic short stories written by American Women. Before each short story was a short biography about the author, which was nice. I read it for the Read Women 2019 Challenge. Although these stories are classics, I had only ever read one before, which makes me sad. Probably my two favorite stories were "White Heron" by Sarah Orne Jewett, and "A Jury of Her Peers" by Susan Glaspell. White Heron has to do with a young girl deciding between a man she likes and the livelihood of a bird. A wonderful quote, paraphrased, is "She wondered why he shot the things which he seemed to like so much." And "A Jury of Her Peers" is about how two women are able to solve a mystery, while the men are not. This is because they were willing to pay attention to small details that the men thought were silly, because they were "women's things." Apparently the short story was first a play. I think that would be interesting to see. There were other fascinating short stories too. One focused on how a woman and man, after being engaged for many years, no longer wanted to be married. There was another story about domestic abuse. And other story about what it was like to be biracial in a segregated world. Altogether, I really enjoyed this.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    Thirteen wonderful stories by thirteen amazing American women authors. I love how each story is preceded by a short bio of the writer. I had previously read four of the stories. Kate Chopin’s The Storm was written while she was waiting for her controversial novel The Awakening to be published in 1899. It was considered too risqué for the time. I personally felt it to be quite benign, but standards being what they were, it was scandalous. The Storm, however, is considerably more suggestive. After the cr Thirteen wonderful stories by thirteen amazing American women authors. I love how each story is preceded by a short bio of the writer. I had previously read four of the stories. Kate Chopin’s The Storm was written while she was waiting for her controversial novel The Awakening to be published in 1899. It was considered too risqué for the time. I personally felt it to be quite benign, but standards being what they were, it was scandalous. The Storm, however, is considerably more suggestive. After the criticism The Awakening received, she never published again in her lifetime. The Storm was finally published in a collection of her work in 1969. I would highly recommend this outstanding sampling of work.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Iris

    After the 2016 Tax Day Flood when our books were in storage and my attention span was limited, I resorted to reading short stories on my iPhone. I’ve read several of these more than once, particularly A White Heron by Sarah Orne Jewett (1888). In it, a girl tending her grandmother’s cow has observed a white heron, a bird that is sought after by the ornithologist who finds his way to their farm in its pursuit. The girl is attracted to the young man and agrees to guide him in his search the next d After the 2016 Tax Day Flood when our books were in storage and my attention span was limited, I resorted to reading short stories on my iPhone. I’ve read several of these more than once, particularly A White Heron by Sarah Orne Jewett (1888). In it, a girl tending her grandmother’s cow has observed a white heron, a bird that is sought after by the ornithologist who finds his way to their farm in its pursuit. The girl is attracted to the young man and agrees to guide him in his search the next day. The girl understands the shotgun he carries would be used to document his discovery. Like most short stories, this one doesn’t end with a bang but with a discovery nonetheless.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    A weird mixture of stories. Probably my favorite was the yellow wallpaper one. Most were interesting in some way or another although there were a few almost too sappy for me. And there were a few too disturbing for words. I skipped probably two: I have a hard time reading phonetic writing styles because it FORCES me to slow down and try and figure out what the heck I just read. Every time it pulls me out of the story. It also feels insulting to the accents the phonetic writing is imitating, unles A weird mixture of stories. Probably my favorite was the yellow wallpaper one. Most were interesting in some way or another although there were a few almost too sappy for me. And there were a few too disturbing for words. I skipped probably two: I have a hard time reading phonetic writing styles because it FORCES me to slow down and try and figure out what the heck I just read. Every time it pulls me out of the story. It also feels insulting to the accents the phonetic writing is imitating, unless maybe it’s written by someone from that community. But that’s just me. Anyway this was a decent enough bathroom read. :-)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tina Romanelli

    This collection is hard to review without context. The Louisa May Alcott story is dreadfully boring, but "A Jury of her Peers" and "Sweat" are amazing. I'm grateful to Dover for bringing them together so cheaply for classroom use! This collection is hard to review without context. The Louisa May Alcott story is dreadfully boring, but "A Jury of her Peers" and "Sweat" are amazing. I'm grateful to Dover for bringing them together so cheaply for classroom use!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Siobhan Welsh

    Great Collection Wonderful cross-section of works that reveal the perspectives and biases of the times in which they were written. Great works of literary art. Great glimpses into cultural history.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Brooklynn Rose

    Bare in mind, I read this for school, and I enjoyed the various writing styles and these stories are important to understand and all that but I wasn't like anxiously looking forward to reading the assigned story every night. Bare in mind, I read this for school, and I enjoyed the various writing styles and these stories are important to understand and all that but I wasn't like anxiously looking forward to reading the assigned story every night.

  20. 5 out of 5

    T.

    I was familiar with only one of the 11 authors whose short stories are presented in this book. Each story is preceded by a short biography of the author. All of the stories are excellent and it was very worthwhile reading.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    There are some amazing stories in this book. Many will stay with me for sure. Many of these women I had never heard of and it’s baffling since these stories are all amazing in in their own way.

  22. 5 out of 5

    LynnB

    The stories varied greatly and I'd rate them from 2⭐ to 5⭐. The stories varied greatly and I'd rate them from 2⭐ to 5⭐.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amy DeLong

    Some stories are better than others. Some I found quite boring others I found were interesting.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    A mixed grab bag, but Yellow Wallpaper, A Jury of Her Peers, and Life in the Iron Mills are excellent.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    I don't think I was the intended audience for this book. I don't think I was the intended audience for this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    I put this on here, not only because it contains some essential readings (Perkins-Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" and Glaspell's "A Jury of Her Peers" to mention just two), but because these Dover "thrift editions" are a steal! These books are usually no more than 3 to 5 dollars and they stock a pretty good range of what could be called "classics." DO a web seach for Dover Thrift Edition, or the title of this one, and you'll see the whole list. Of course, some of the authors in here are real qual I put this on here, not only because it contains some essential readings (Perkins-Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" and Glaspell's "A Jury of Her Peers" to mention just two), but because these Dover "thrift editions" are a steal! These books are usually no more than 3 to 5 dollars and they stock a pretty good range of what could be called "classics." DO a web seach for Dover Thrift Edition, or the title of this one, and you'll see the whole list. Of course, some of the authors in here are real quality. In addition to those listed above, this particular editioncontains work by Zora Neale Hurston ("Sweat"), Louisa May Alcott ("Transcendental Wild Oats")and one of my all time favorite authors Kate Chopin ("The Storm"). PLUS Edith Wharton! Check this out.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Hobbs

    Read so far: Rebecca Harding Davis (1831-1910) / Life in the Iron-Mills--2 Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) / Transcendental Wild Oats--2 Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909) / A White Heron--3 Mary E. Wilkins Freeman (1852-1930) / A New England Nun--3 Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) / The Yellow Wallpaper--3 Kate Chopin (1851-1904) / The Storm--2 *Edith Wharton (1862-1937) / The Angel at the Grave-- Willa Cather (1873-1947) / Paul's Case: A Study in Temperament--4 Alice Dunbar-Nelson (1875-1935) / The Stones Read so far: Rebecca Harding Davis (1831-1910) / Life in the Iron-Mills--2 Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) / Transcendental Wild Oats--2 Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909) / A White Heron--3 Mary E. Wilkins Freeman (1852-1930) / A New England Nun--3 Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) / The Yellow Wallpaper--3 Kate Chopin (1851-1904) / The Storm--2 *Edith Wharton (1862-1937) / The Angel at the Grave-- Willa Cather (1873-1947) / Paul's Case: A Study in Temperament--4 Alice Dunbar-Nelson (1875-1935) / The Stones of the Village--4 Susan Glaspell (1876-1948) / A Jury of Her Peers--4 Djuna Barnes (1892-1982) / Smoke-- Zora Neale Hurston (c. 1891-1960) / Sweat--4 Nella Larsen (c. 1893-1964) / Sanctuary--2

  28. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    I have had this book on my shelf for years. I don’t know where it came from, and I don’t know why I haven’t picked it up before now. Each of the thirteen stories is a classic of American literature, some written by familiar authors like Louisa May Alcott, Zora Neale Hurston, Edith Wharton, and Willa Cather, and others by authors who were new to me, such as Nella Larsen, Djuna Barnes, Susan Glaspell, and Alice Dunbar-Nelson. A short biography and some background information on the writing accompa I have had this book on my shelf for years. I don’t know where it came from, and I don’t know why I haven’t picked it up before now. Each of the thirteen stories is a classic of American literature, some written by familiar authors like Louisa May Alcott, Zora Neale Hurston, Edith Wharton, and Willa Cather, and others by authors who were new to me, such as Nella Larsen, Djuna Barnes, Susan Glaspell, and Alice Dunbar-Nelson. A short biography and some background information on the writing accompanied each story. My favorites were “A White Heron,” by Sarah Orne Jewett; “ A Jury of Her Peers,” by Susan Glaspell, and “Sweat,” by Zora Neal Hurston.

  29. 4 out of 5

    J.C.

    The collection contains mostly of stories that are heavily anthologized (The Yellow Wallpaper being the most obvious example), but I do think it's a very fine collection for what it represents: a small collection of excellent literature, and focusing mostly on the 19th and early 20th centuries. Realism reigns supreme for most of them, with a slow shift into modernism, both movements are my personal favorites. So consider all of these stories a "must" for anyone to consider oneself well read (in The collection contains mostly of stories that are heavily anthologized (The Yellow Wallpaper being the most obvious example), but I do think it's a very fine collection for what it represents: a small collection of excellent literature, and focusing mostly on the 19th and early 20th centuries. Realism reigns supreme for most of them, with a slow shift into modernism, both movements are my personal favorites. So consider all of these stories a "must" for anyone to consider oneself well read (in my humble opinion anyway, which isn't worth much but whatev). Plus Dover keeps things dirt cheap, which is always a plus plus plus in my book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    A few boring stories (early American lit, I do not like you), but also some real gems by favorites like Wharton, Cather, and Chopin. I like the range of viewpoints the book presents on the female characters, from witty to heartbreaking, and I was interested to see how being pigeon-holed as "local colorists" (Sarah Orne Jewett, for example) often allowed female authors to step out of the "Must be just like England!/Must be completely unlike England!" that preoccupied so many contemporary male aut A few boring stories (early American lit, I do not like you), but also some real gems by favorites like Wharton, Cather, and Chopin. I like the range of viewpoints the book presents on the female characters, from witty to heartbreaking, and I was interested to see how being pigeon-holed as "local colorists" (Sarah Orne Jewett, for example) often allowed female authors to step out of the "Must be just like England!/Must be completely unlike England!" that preoccupied so many contemporary male authors.

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