12 Favorite American Story Tellers

American Story Tellers

Short stories have always been popular no matter the age, class and social orientation of the reader. American short story writers have been read all across the world, the most popular ones being translated into multiple languages, bringing them closer to the different cultural scenarios. This way, appearing just as short chunks among the stream of life, short stories have poignantly made way to people’s hearts. It is possible to relate with short stories more than with longer works due to their easy accessibility and nature representing a greater whole through a chunk of nugget.

These pearls and gems of stories thus go on to create some of the most influenced cross cultural references. American short stories, at their best, have had this adaptive quality more than any other short stories emerging from other countries. The following is a list of the most widely embraced short story writers from America:

1. Chuck Palahniuk:

He has been the famed author of “Fight Club”, a story that went beyond all limitations to prove its popularity among people. Over the years, it has been expressed through various medium. People have been able to relate to the wide appeal of a story that gets as real as this. Palahniuk dedicated his life at writing a story every day and became one of the creators of the most important stories that the world has ever seen. His Ray Bradbury like ritual shot him to fame. Most of his stories throb with originality and pulsating life. His infamous story “Guts” has caused several people to faint as he would read them out at book signings. He bridged all conventions of story writing to create something unique and totally trademark of his own.

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2. Washington Irving:

The famous American writer, essayist, biographer as well as historian, began his writing career in the early 19th century. His best known stories remain “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle”. A great story teller of universal appeal, he has also written biographies of the high and mighty. Some of his most popular biographies include that of George Washington, Oliver Goldsmith, Muhammad, Christopher Columbus, and other such world changing people. His famed stories are to be found in his most famous collection, “The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent”. He has even written specialized studies on 15th century Spain and races like the Moors and the Alhambra.

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3. Isaac Asimov:

This world famous science fiction writer has been a prolific English writer with many different series to his name. His series like “Foundation” and “Fantastic Voyage” and the rest has been widely accepted by the world and is even read profusely today. He has written science fictions through his entire life creating a really wide span production of smooth flowing and even the most bone chilling science fiction stories. His great insights into a futuristic world brought him to create the stories like “I, Robot”, “The Bicentennial Man” and “The Last Question”. These famed stories have even been turned into great motion pictures. He has written over 19 series of short stories that produced about 284 short stories in all.

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4. Ray Bradbury:

This great writer wrote some of the most amazing science fiction short stories and dystopic novels as well. He had the curios habit of writing a story a day, a ritual that many writers have followed since. He has been the great composer of over 400 stories in all. He has 40 short story collections to his name. He is overall, one of the greatest science fiction writers the world has ever known. His stories and world view remains as valid today, even through his strange cynicism and dystopic observations, as they were during his times. He has also written several novellas but it is not really the quantity on his list but the quality of his work that has earned him immense success and popularity. The short story, “A Sound of Thunder” has been known to be one of his most famed creations, with the theme of “butterfly effect” being famously introduced to people through his intense and unique origination. His works have been one of the most famed science fiction works being republished in the history of publication.


5. Stephen King:

Stephen King has his followers in America and in the rest of the world. He has been a prolific writer and enjoys one of the greatest fan bases as a writer. He has written a great number of short stories with over 8 story collections with about 124 short stories. He has about 17 Novellas written in his career. His accolades include winning the O. Henry Award in 1996 as well as being the editor of the Best American Short Stories of 2007. About 35 of his creations have been made into famous movies. These happen to include his works like “1408”, “The Mist” and “Hearts in Atlantis”. King remains one of the most influencing writers of our times.

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6. J.D. Salinger:

Though J.D. Salinger has been known best for his novel “Catcher in the Rye”, he had originally been the writer of several short stories. Though they do not come to be as famed as his existential novel, the stories remain widely read across the world. His story collections include “Frannie and Zoey”, “Nine Stories”, “Raise High the Roof Beams, Carpenters” and “Seymour: An Introduction”. He has also had 24 other uncollected short stories which have made considerable influence in the world. Salinger remains to be one of the most loved and famous writers of all times.

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7. O. Henry:

Famous for his great twists in the course of an ordinary tales, O. Henry brought about a higher philosophy in the viewing of the ordinary and everyday. His stories have been honored throughout the world and the most prestigious awards given to a writer is after his name. His most well known stories include “The Last Leaf” and “The Gift of the Magi”. His stories have been told and retold in several languages and they have been so famous that they remain as living metaphors themselves, without any introduction being required. The magic of his stories remain in the fact that they can be related by all despite age, origin, culture, sex, etc.

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8. John Updike:

John Updike remains as one of the most famed writers of all times. Though originating from America, his works are celebrated and read all over the world. He has earned some very important awards of all times including the Rea Award, the PEN/Falkner award, the O. Henry award and the like. His total accolades and recognition titles cross over 30. His last collection was known as “Tears of My Father” that got published in June 2009, about six months after his death. John Updike remains as one of the most gifted writers of all times with over 150 short stories to his credit.

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9. F Scott Fitzgerald:

Fitzgerald wrote novels as well as short stories with most of his works reflecting the jazz age orientation. He has been known to be a member of the Lost Generation of the 20s producing great works in observation to the war and the age ravaged by the war, making him one of the most sensitive writers of all times.

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10. Edgar Allen Poe:

A list of American short story writers would be incomplete without the mention of Poe. He has been one of the most celebrated poets in the world but his short stories remain classical as ever.

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11. Mark Twain:

Though known more famously for his novels, Mark Twain remains one of the most loved short story writers of all times. He is the quintessential American writer highly regarded for his childlike wit and charm.

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12. Nathaniel Hawthorn:

Not only his longer novels, but his shorter stories bear the stamp of the growth and evolution of the whole national consciousness of America. To get a better grip of the cultural origination of America, it is imperative to know Hawthorn.


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