IT'S A SHORT STORY SMACKDOWN(downownwn)!
Is there a difference between a short story and a novella?
If not I'll nominate two of my favorites "God Bless You Mr. Rosewater" by Vonnegeut and "My Happy Life" by Millet (with a special jab to Gargamel).
Would Sedaris' "Santaland Diarys" count?
What about Capote's "The Grass Harp"?
Anyway, I know I'll have to read both of your selections now......
And so my secret plan to get a new list of stories to read seems to be working perfectly. Yesssssss.
I've not read these, with the exception of Millet, of course.
Obviously this thread begs for a definition of the form. The "length discussion" is a tricky one. Scope and breadth must factor in. In My Happy Life
for example, the narrative structure is much like you would find in a novel. We aren't given a brief back story and then, suddenly, a conflict (though tons of short stories don't follow this traditional description). Yet we get the story of I-forget-her-name's life in episodes, each one containing its own short story.
Ah! But I just finished Alice Munro's collection Runaway
, in which several forty-page stories are structured like novels.
For the sake of argument, I will stick to the old school, updside-down checkmark definition, where a short story begins with backstory, along comes a conflict, followed by rising action, crisis action, resolution, and denouement.