Short Stories

A few weeks ago, someone asked about other short stories like the ones we read in class. I’ve put together a list of some important short stories and novellas. Some were written in English, and others were translated from foreign languages. If you would like copies of any of these, let me know! I have most of them with me, and would be happy to send them to you. 

  • Interpreter of Maladies – Jhumpa Lahiri
  • A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Good Country People – Flannery O’Connor
  • The Dead – James Joyce
  • The Distance of the Moon – Italo Calvino
  • Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka
  • Carmen – Prosper Merimée
  • Robbie – Isaac Asimov
  • Naima – Hisham Matar
  • The School – Donald Bartheleme
  • Signs and Symbols – Vladimir Nabokov
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – James Thurber
  • The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County – Mark Twain
  • The Nine Billion Names of God – Arthur C. Clarke
  • Hills Like White Elephants – Ernest Hemingway
  • Orientation – Daniel Orozco
  • The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • What You Pawn I Will Redeem – Sherman Alexie



Exchange Opportunity in the United States

Exchange Opportunity in the United States

Do you like to write? Would you like to improve your skills in the United States?

The U.S. State Department is offering young Moroccan writers a chance to travel to the United States this summer for a two week writing workshop at the University of Iowa. Please find attached the eligibility and application requirements. If you think that this is an opportunity that appeals to you and would like to apply, feel free to email me with any questions you might have.

December 18: Conflict

What is the difference between internal and external conflict?

What are the four main kinds of conflict?

  1. Human vs. self
  2. Human vs. nature
  3. Human vs. human
  4. Human vs. society

What are other kinds of conflict? Human vs. supernatural, human vs. fate, human vs. technology

Readings for next time:  Dream Variations Kitchenette BuildingUncanny the Singing that Comes from Certain Husks

No questions! Just read and be prepared.

December 4

Homework: Read “On the Rainy River” by Tim O’Brien, from the book The Things They Carried, available here:  On the Rainy River

Answer the following questions:

1. What is the political context of the story?

2. What is the scenery like on the Rainy River?

3. What is the narrator ashamed of?

November 13: Characterization

Key concepts from class:

  • What is the difference between direct characterization and indirect characterization?
  • How can you use the STEAL method to analyze an author’s indirect characterization?
  • Describe different kinds of characters: protagonist, antagonist, major, minor,  foil, round vs. flat, dynamic vs. static
  • Analyze the characters from Flannery O’Connor’s story “A Good Man is Hard to Find”

In-class reading: excerpts from Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters

Homework: Read “The Child’s Story” by Charles Dickens, available here and “The Magic Bon Bons” by L. Frank Baum, available here, and answer the questions below.


  1. Why does Claribel buy the bon bons in Baum’s story?
  2. What makes the traveler sad in Dickens’ story?
  3. When were you most interested in the stories? Why? Please write out your answer to question 3 and bring it to the next class.

Class announcement: The course packet will be available at the copy center by Friday afternoon. This packet will contain all of the readings for the semester.

October 23: Analyzing Style

Key concepts from class:

  • What are the most important themes and motifs from Araby?
  • What are some stylistic elements in Araby?
  • Be familiar with: figurative language (simile, metaphor, personification, alliteration, cliché, hyperbole, allusion, ), sentence structure, vocabulary, time, and tone

In-class reading: William Blake – A Poison Tree

Homework: Read Flannery O’Connor’s short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, available at


  1. What does Red Sam mean by “a good man”? Is that the idea that you have of “a good man”? Does your idea of it change throughout the story?
  2. Foreshadowing is when an author hints at a later event in the story. Do you see any elements of foreshadowing?
  3. Pay attention to how the author introduces each character. What are the characters’ relationships with each other? What do they think about each other?