Most Iconic Short Stories of All Time

Most Iconic Short Stories of All Time

Best way to get acquainted with a writer, is to start with his/her classic small stories. So here’s a list of 15 most iconic short stories of all time.

This story deals with an important debate – whether life imprisonment is better than a capital sentence or whether the latter is preferable.

The Bet by Anton Chekhov

This stunning story of deception and appearances follows our main character, Loisel, a woman of extraordinary beauty, intelligence and class.

The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant

This beautiful story deals with themes of female sexuality, homophobia and sexism. It is told from the point of view of a young girl who visits her aunt Begum Jaan.

Lihaaf by Ismat Chughtai

Written in the quintessential Marquez style, this is full of magical realism and torrid, sensual beauty.

The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World

This story by Irwin Shaw, which is taught in almost all literature syllabi, is a wonderful exploration of the institution of marriage.

Girls in Summer Dresses by Irwin Shaw

This heart-touching story follows our young female protagonist as she teaches her illiterate grandmother to read.

How I Taught My Grandmother to Read

This hauntingly beautiful story deals with a very important subject – mental health.

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

This endearing story follows an expected and beautiful bond that blossoms between an aristocratic young girl Mini and a Kabuliwala.

The Kabuliwala by Rabindranath Tagore

This work of feminist fiction follows the story of a woman with a weak heart who discovers that her husband is dead.

The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

Featuring in Joyce’s acclaimed Irish fiction anthology, The Dubliners, revolves around Gabriel Conroy and explores his relationships with family and friends.

The Dead by James Joyce

This is the story of Framton, who has just moved to the village and who pays a visit to the Sappletons house.

The Open Window by Saki

This is an extremely innovative story that deals with the limitations of language, brevity of life, trivialness of distant events.

A Tranquil Star by Primo Levi

This moving story follows our protagonist as his wife invites a blind man whose wife has recently died for a visit.

Cathedral by Raymond Carver

Paul Pilgram is an aurelian, a scientist who studies butterflies and deals in them. He longs to visit the great butterfly gardens of the world.

The Aurelian by Vladimir Nabokov