Charles E. May is professor of English at California State University, Long Beach. He is the author of Edgar Allan Poe: A Study of the Short Fiction and The Short Story: A Study of the Genre and editor of Short Story Theories, Fiction’s Many Words, and Twentieth Century European Short Story. He has published over a hundred and fifty articles, mostly on the short story, in a variety of journals, books, and reference works and has developed a software program, HyperStory, available from D. C. Heath Publishers, for short story instruction.
Although the short story has often been called America’s unique contribution to the world’s literature, relatively few critics have taken the form seriously. May’s collection of essays by popular commentators, academic critics, and short story writers attempts to assess the reasons for this neglect and provides significant theoretical directions for a reevaluation of the form.The essays range from discussions by Poe to comments by John Cheever.