Short Stories

With the death of so many weekly magazines that published short stories, demand for the short story has disappeared and some think short stories have become a lost art form.

Tim O'Brien is one of the few authors who still works in that medium. His published short stories usually appear later as chapters in his books. He likes the chapters of his books to stand on their own as short stories.

You will likely note differences between the chapter and the short story.

July ‘69.” Esquire July 2000 (prior to July,July)

"Fission" Atlantic, June 1979 (The Nuclear Age)

"The People We Marry" Atlantic (January 1992):90-98. (excerpt prior to In the Lake of the Woods)

"How to Tell a True War Story" (The Things They Carried)

"The Things They Carried"(The Things They Carried)


Essays & Non-fiction

"The Vietnam in Me"   - important personal essay in the NY Times on O'Brien's return to Vietnam and his ambush by PTSD. (1994)
     

"Telling Tails"

The Atlantic

  - "What I do suggest, when I’m under pressure to suggest something, is that even the most realistic tale succeeds by reaching beyond the run-of-the-mill or the banal. Even if one’s goal is to depict ordinary human beings in ordinary human settings, a story must find striking, dramatic, and unexpected ways to accomplish this." (2009)
     

Introduction

Ploughshares

  Bio & links at Ploughshares (Winter 95/96)
     
     

Updated August 17, 2010