Realism in eco fiction: Climate change and the short story cycle

Fiction has the potential to bring the climate crisis into the imagination and help readers understand and respond to climate change. From speculative ‘cli-fi’ to contemporary eco fiction, literary responses to climate change vary greatly and continue to evolve. Despite the ongoing popularity of speculative climate change fiction, climate change increasingly appears in realist genres, […]

Rubik, the Short Story Cycle, and the Digital Age

In the 21st century, the demands of digital presence and the distractions of the internet simultaneously challenge writers wishing to represent contemporary life and threaten the attention readers are willing to give to literature. In this paper I argue that the short story cycle is a literary form that is capable of representing digital life […]

The Tales of Frederick Philip Grove

The twenty-three stories in the original version of Frederick Philip Grove’s Tales from the Margin comprise a cycle: characters recur and the locale is limited to Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta: the Canadian Prairies. This paper will examine how our perception of Grove’s cycle alters when the stories are viewed as tales. This is the label […]

The Uses and the Limits of the Short Story: The Function of Character Migration in Alice Munro’s Lives of Girls and Women

This article explores the phenomenon of character migration in one of Alice Munro’s early works, Lives of Girls and Women from 1971. Munro vitally maintains the typical structure of the modern Anglo-American short story, with its tendency toward condensation and building toward its ending, as well as the form’s thematic principle of the epiphany concept. But she […]

Nomadic Genres: The Case of the Short Story Cycle

Excerpt: The short story cycle, often relegated to the margin of literary studies, offers a pertinent example of a nomadic genre. Because it resists definition, it inhabits a liminal space straddling the short story and the novel. The fixed centrality of the novel, as a recognized and well-established genre, is upset by texts trespassing borders […]

Magic Realism at the Service of Ethnicity: Darrell Kastin’s Azorean Honeymoon in The Conjurer & Other Azorean Tales

This essay attempts to contribute to the ongoing critical discussion on theshort story-cycle and its tradition within the framework of emergent contemporary American literatures, more specifically American writings with a Portuguese ethnic resonance. The collection of stories which will be the basis for discussion in the ensuing pages is Darrell Kastin’s The Conjurer & Other […]

Circling the end of the line in Vimala Devi’s Monção: glints of significance across Vimala Devi’s short story cycle

In this article I analyse Vimala Devi’s Monção (1963) as a short-story cycle, a genre that differs as much from the traditional novel as from non-integrated collections of short narratives in its “tension between variety and unity, separateness and interconnectedness, fragmentation and continuity, openness and closure” (Lundén 12). It is this generic quality I argue, […]

Inclusive Memory: The Power of Collective Remembering in Gloria Naylor’s The Women of Brewster Place

This essay considers how collective memory works to develop and sustain a group identity in Gloria Naylor’s 1980 novel, The Women of Brewster Place. Using post-structural theorist Bronwyn Davies’s collective biography project as a model through which to understand Naylor’s work, it becomes clear how collective remembering in the novel prompts the women characters to […]

David Vann’s Legend of a Suicide: Dismantling the Trauma Paradigm

This article argues that David Vann’s Legend of a Suicide (2008) offers us a culturally significant exploration of hegemonic theories around how we understand, or are said to understand, the temporality of trauma, its effect upon identity via its effect upon memory, and its representation in narrative. Moreover, the specific structure of Vann’s text as a short […]