Subject Material

Overview of Short Stories

Published: 06.03.2013, Updated: 05.03.2017

A list of short stories with brief information about each one.

"Red Dress" by Alice Munro

Dramatized. A young girl struggles to come to terms with herself and the opposite sex. (With audio). Red Dress   

"Next Term We’ll Mash You" by Penelope Lively

Little Charles is going to attend a public school in Sussex. His parents are more concerned about climbing up the social ladder than about their son. (With audio). Next Term We'll Mash You 

"Tony’s Story" by Leslie Marmon Silko

What happens when the Native Americans Tony and Leo meet a state cop on the reservation?  Tony's Story  

"The Killers" by Ernest Hemingway

Setting: The Alcohol Prohibition policy in the 1920s and the rise of the Mafia. We meet young Nick who has to find a grown-up way to handle ethical issues. (With audio). The Killers   

"The Metaphor" by Budge Wilson

What happens when your favorite teacher from when you were a kid re-enters your life in senior high? What is a metaphor? The Metaphor 

"The Moment Before the Gun Went Off" by Nadine Gordimer

Setting: Apartheid in South Africa. A white farmer kills his black labourer. (With audio). The Moment Before the Gun Went Off 

"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" by James Thurber

A humorous text about daydreaming. (With audio). The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 

"The Snail-Watcher" by Patricia Highsmith

This is a psychological thriller story about a man obsessed by snails. Patricia Highsmith is also known for The Talented Mr. Ripley. The Snail-Watcher 

"Blizzard" by Robert Westall

A Christmas story about youthful passion, religion and philosophical issues. (With audio). Blizzard 

"Life After High School" by Joyce Carol Oates

Setting: Moral conformity in the late 50s in the USA and the toll it takes; a young man commits suicide. (With audio). Life After High School   

"Mrs Bixby and the Colonel's Coat" by Roald Dahl

Classical Dahl story about adultery and ethical issues. Does Mrs Bixby get what she deserves? (With audio). Mrs Bixby and the Colonel's Coat  

"Auggie Wren's Christmas Story" by Paul Auster

A Christmas story with a twist.  (With audio and video link to the film Smoke. Title music sung by Tom Waits). Auggie Wren's Christmas Story  

"Lamb to the Slaughter" by Roald Dahl

A typical Dahl story with an unexpected twist. How does Mrs Maloney respond when her husband wants to divorce her? (With audio). Lamb to the Slaughter 

"Poor Koko" by John Fowles

Here the author meets a burglar. The story challenges our stereotypes about thieves. (With audio). John Fowles is also the author of The French Lieutenant’s Woman and The CollectorPoor Koko 

"The Last Leaf" by O. Henry

Setting: Greenwich Village, New York, about 1900. Two poor young artists share everything. What happens when one of the girls fall critically sick? (With audio). The Last Leaf