The short story is one of the most difficult types of prose to write and one of the most pleasurable to read. From Boccaccio's
Decameron to The Collected Stories of Reynolds Price, Charles May gives us an understanding of the history and structure of
this demanding form of fiction. Beginning with a general history of the genre, he moves on to focus on the nineteenth-century
when the modern short story began to come into focus. From there he moves on to later nineteenth-century realism and early
twentieth-century formalism and finally to the modern renaissance of the form that shows no signs of abating. A chronology
of significant events, works and figures from the genre's history, notes and references and an extensive bibliographic essay
with recommended reading round out the volume.