Course Title: Short Fictional Narratives

Course Description

This course is a fertile field for students to broaden their vision with respect to English literature in general and short fiction in particular, written in different cultures and languages. It focuses on students’ critical engagement with different texts that represent a variety of cultures. The short stories in this course have been selected from a wide range of cultures with a view to highlighting the similarities and differences in the writings of different short story writers and how different writers reflect the social and cultural events through their writing with a variety of themes in different styles. The authors included in this course belong to different parts of the world so the works included are quite diverse not only in their form and language but also in themes. The issues and themes reflected or implied in these stories are illusory love, conformity, poverty, the power of words, transformation of identities, feudal structure of rural Punjab, racism in the backdrop of Civil War, political imprisonment, appearance vs reality, feminism, female violence, insanity, women’s emotional complexity, and slavery, to mention a few.

In this course, students will concentrate on seminal short fictions in English written by writers from the different regions of the world who have contributed significantly to literature in English through their narrative form and structure, thematic content, and articulation of human experience.

Narrative studies prepares students for the development and evaluation of original content for short fictions and other narrative platforms. To recognise a good story, to critique, to help shape, realise and transform requires a background in the history of narrative, cross-cultural and contemporary models.

The selection of the primary texts will take into consideration that they are united by their engagement with the struggle for the expression of human identity. Consequently, the selection of the short fictions will keep two things in the foreground: representation of diverse regions and narrative structure.

Course Objectives 

The objectives of this course are

  1. To provide an exposure to some classics in short fiction both in theme and form
  2. To familiarize students with short fiction in English literature by the most recognized and awarded authors
  3. To nurture the ability to think critically and promote intellectual growth of the students
  4. To develop sensitivity towards cultural diversity through a critical study of the selected works and involve them on a personal and emotional level by relating the stories with their own experiences
  5. To make them experience a genuine language context through these stories from different parts of the world

Course Contents

  1. The Nightingale and the Rose Oscar Wilde
  2. The Three StrangersThomas Hardy
  3. The Cask of AmontilladoEdgar Allan Poe
  4. The Darling Anton Chekhov
  5. Hearts and Hands O’ Henry
  6. The Necklace Guy De Maupassant
  7. The Secret Sharer Joseph Conrad
  8. The Other Side of the Hedge E. M. Forster
  9. Eveline James Joyce
  10. The Three Questions Leo Tolstoy
  11. A Hunger Artist  Franz Kafka
  12. A Very Old Man With Enormous WingsGabriel Garcia Marquez
  13. Two WordsIsabel Allende
  14. A Cup of Tea Katherine Mansfield
  15. Everything that Rises Must ConvergeFlannery O’ Connor
  16. The Story of An Hour Kate Chopin
  17. The Richer The Poorer Dorothy West
  18. The Prisoner Who Wore GlassesBessie Head
  19. Lamb to the SlaughterRoald Dahl
  20. BingoTariq Rahman
  21. The Kingdom of CardsRabindranath Tagore
  22. The MartyrNgũgĩ wa Thiong’o
  23. A Watcher of the DeadNadine Gordimer.
  24. RevelationFlannery O’Connor
  25. Nawabdin ElectricianDaniyal Mueenuddin

Suggested Readings

  1. Chekhov, Anton P, and Ralph E. Matlaw. Anton Chekhov’s Short Stories: Texts of the Stories, Backgrounds, Criticism. , 1979. Print.
  2. Ellmann, Richard. James Joyce. New York: Oxford University Press, 1959. Print.
  3. Ellmann, Richard. Oscar Wilde; a Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice-Hall, 1969. Print.
  4. Forster, E M, Mary Lago, Linda K. Hughes, and Elizabeth M. L. Walls. The Bbc Talks of E.m. Forster, 1929-1960: A Selected Edition. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2008. Print.
  5. Gillon, Adam. Joseph Conrad. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1982. Print.
  6. Hardy, Thomas, Michael Millgate, Florence E. Hardy, and Florence E. Hardy. The Life and Work of Thomas Hardy. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1985. Print.
  7. Long, E H. O. Henry, the Man and His Work. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1949. Print.
  8. Maupassant, Guy , Clara Bell, Florence Crew-Jones, and Fanny Rousseau-Wallach. The Works of Guy De Maupassant. New York: Printed privately for subscribers only, 1909. Print.
  9. Maupassant, Guy , George B. Ives, and Guy . Maupassant. Guy De Maupassant. , 1903. Print.
  10. Poe, Edgar A. The Cask of Amontillado. Charlottesville, Va: University of Virginia Library Electronic Text Center, 1993. Internet resource.
  11. Rubenstein, Roberta, and Charles R. Larson. Worlds of Fiction. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall, 2002. Print.
  12. Symons, Julian. The Life and Works of Edgar Allen Poe. , 2014. Print
  13. Tolstoy, Leo, and Robert Court. Leo Tolstoy Collected Short Stories. Mankato, MN: Peterson Pub, 2002. Print.
  14. Wilde, Alan. Art and Order: A Study of E.m. Forster. New York: New York University Press, 1964. Print.
  15. Wilson, Kathleen. Short Stories for Students: Presenting Analysis, Context, and Criticism on Commonly Studied Short Stories. Detroit: Gale, 1997. Print
Short Fictional Narratives