If there is one writer who inspired me to write, it is William Sydney Porter known by his pen name O.Henry. A great twister of words and language. No other writer played with language as much as he. His made extensive use of used wit and sarcasm in his tales. His clever plot-twists, use of cliff hangers made him the master of short-story genre. Born in 1862 North Carolina, he begin his career as a pharmacist. But his serious literary career took off while serving a sentence on charges of embezzlement. Some of his most admired works are The Gift Of Maggie, The last leaf, The Pendulum & The Ransom of Red Chief.
Guy de Maupassant
It was a chance encounter that I stumbled on Le hora short story at cousins’s house. What a brilliant horror story, it literally spooked me for nights. Henri Rene’ Albert Guy de Maupassant was born in 1850 in France. His own experience in the Franco-Persian war became the setting of most of his stories. He brilliantly portrayed the suffering and tragedy of country folks. His stories also reflect his own despise of rich and bourgeois. His notable works are The Necklace, Le Horla & Boule de Suif. In his later life he suffered from a mental illness and died in a mental asylum in 1892.
Leo Tolstoy without any doubt is the father of the short-story genre. His works often reflect the Russian social milieu and the spiritual dilemma that he himself faced in his life. Born as Count Lyov Nikolayevich Tolstoy in 1828, Russia, he drew heavily from his experiences. Despite born in privilege as a aristocrat he very realistically portrayed the plight of peasants and the vast gulf between the rich and the poor. Although he is renowned as great novelist and credited with literally masterpieces such as , War and Peace, Anna Karenina & The Death of Ivan Ilyich, however I most enjoy his short-stories. His short-stories remain a great comfort to me in my hours of darkness and moral crisis. If you are literature lover than the works of Tolstoy is must on your shelves.
The noble laureate Rabbinate Tagore remains as one of the most influential Indian writer. His works are notable for ordinary characters placed in extraordinary situation. His stories reflects his own surroundings and people. Most of his work is penned against the backdrop of British imperialism in India. His protagonists very often voice his take on the nationalist movement and woman empowerment. I am drawn to his stories partly because of the strong female characters. I personally feel no other writer in literature has given so much space to women as Rabindranath Tagore. The bard of Bengali Literature as he is fondly called, he redefined the Indian Literature. He truly remains a rare literary gems, his most famous tales are, Kabuliwala, The Postmaster & Hungry Stones.
Edgar Allen Poe
No list of short-story writers is complete without mention of the great Edgar Allen Poe. The great American writer known for his tales of macabre and dark remains as one of the most prolific writer of all times. His life and death like many of his most famous works remains a mystery. One of the first short-story writers, he compressed the art of novel into stories. Many attribute the birth of detective and science fiction to him. Poe was born in 1809 in Boston and led a life marred by financial woes and instability. The master of Gothic fiction, he abhorred the transcendentalism of eighteen century. To name a few , The Tell-Tale Heart, The Black Cat, The Masque of the Red Death, The oval portrait are some of his most notable works.