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Classic American Short Stories

A selection of landmark stories that have helped to shape American literature. Includes works by Herman Melville, Mark Twain and Edith Wharton.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow . . . Washington Irving . . . 12 pages
The inhabitants of Sleepy Hollow include Ichabod, the lovely Katrina and very possibly a headless ghost.
Young Goodman Brown . . . Nathaniel Hawthorne . . . 12 pages
Goodman Brown keeps a midnight appointment in the woods near Salem Village.
The Fall of the House of Usher . . . Edgar Allan Poe . . . 16 pages
The original gothic tale of madness, death and the atmospheric possibilities of an old house.
Bartleby the Scrivener . . . Herman Melville . . . 31 pages
A lawyer takes on a new employee but fails to check the references. The original role model for slackers everywhere.
The Man Without a Country . . . Edward Everett Hale . . . 23 pages
The story - so fully realised that many took it to be true - of a young soldier who curses his country and is sentenced never to set foot in it again.
The Lady Or The Tiger? . . . Frank Stockton . . . 6 pages
A semi-barbaric king devises a semi-barabaric (but entirely fair) method of criminal trial involving two doors, a beautiful lady and a very hungry tiger.
The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County . . . Mark Twain . . . 5 pages
The story of an enterprising gambler who finds some unusual uses for animals.
The Outcasts of Poker Flat . . . Bret Harte . . . 9 pages
A group of misfits are thrown together by the harsh realities of expulsion from their settlement.
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge . . . Ambrose Bierce . . . 9 pages
A man stands on a railroad bridge; his wrists are bound with a chord, a rope encircles his neck. This story was adapted into the most popular ever episode of The Twighlight Zone.
Desiree's Baby . . . Kate Chopin . . . 6 pages
The events surrounding the birth of a child - the father a member of an important Louisiana family; the mother a woman found abandoned as a baby.
The Yellow Wallpaper . . . Charlotte Perkins Gilman . . . 16 pages
Classic first-person account of a woman's descent into madness.
The Gift of the Magi . . . O. Henry . . . 5 pages
A trigic, ironic Christmas for one hard up couple.
The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky . . . Stephen Crane . . . 10 pages
A married couple return to the groom's home town to start their life together - but his position as town marshal complicates matters.
To Build a Fire . . . Jack London . . . 14 pages
A man and his dog fight for survival during a bitterly cold Arctic trek.
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