Best short prose in the world.

Key.

* means nonfiction.
* means fiction.
* means flash fiction.

Of course, much is disputable but it won’t make the world a better place.

Alice Walker
“Everyday Use”
“The Abortion”*

Alexander Yates
“Valentine”*

Andrei Codrescu

Anne Finger
“Comrade Luxembourg and Comrade Gramsci Pass Each Other at the Congress of the Second International in Switzerland on the 10th of March, 1912” *

Anton Chekhov
“Gooseberries”*
“The Bet”*
“The Looking Glass”

Antonio Elefano
“Italy”*

Catherine Gammon
“Issues of Appropriation, 2”

Dan Josefson
“That’s Not A Feeling”*

Daniel Orozco
“Orientation”

David Mamet
“Secret Names”*

David Means
“The Chair”*

Donald Barthelme
“A Manual For Sons”*
“At the End of the Mechanical Age”
“Kierkegaard Unfair to Schlegel”*
“Report”
“Some of Us Had Been Threatening Our Old Friend Colby”
“The Party”*
“The School”

E.C. Osondu
“Debriefing”*

E. B. White
“The Door”

E. M. Forster
“The Machine Stops”*

Eudora Welty
“A Worn Path”*

Fernando Pessoa
“The Mariner”*

Fiona Maazel
“Interpreters of Men Get It On”*

Franz Kafka
“In the Penal Colony”*
“A Hunger Artist”*

Fyodor Dostoevsky
“The Dream of a Ridiculous Man”

George Saunders
“Escape From Spiderhead”*
“Sea Oak”
“Tenth of December”
“Victory Lap”

Gilbert Sorrentino
“The Moon In Its Flight”*

Grace Paley
“An Interest in Life”*

Harold Brodkey
“Bookkeeping”
“Hofsteadt and Jean– And Others”
“Innocence”*
“The Shooting Range”

Italo Calvino
“All At One Point”

James McKean
“D/Altered”*

James Salter
“Charisma”*
“Comet”*
“Last Night”*
“Vita Negativa”*

James Verini
“Love and Ruin”*

John Bart Gerald
“Blood Letting”

Jorge Luis Borges
“The South”
“Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius”

Joyce Carol Oates
“The Girl with the Blackened Eye”*

Julio Cortazaar
“Blow-Up”

Junot Diaz
“Miss Lora”*

Justin Taylor
“A Talking Cure”*

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
“Harrison Bergeron”*
“Miss Temptation”*
“The Big Space Fuck”*
“The Powder Blue Dragon”*

Lee Sandlin
“Losing the War”*

Leo Tolstoy
“Three Questions”

Lewis Warsh
“The Merit System”

Lorrie Moore
“How to Become a Writer”
“You’re Ugly Too”

Luke Mogelson
“The Dream Boat”*

Mario Benedetti
“The Sweethearts”*

Mark Lukash
“My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward”*

Mary Gordon
“City Life”
“The Dancing Party”*

Matthew Schultz
“On the Study of Physics in Preschool Classrooms: Pedagogy and Lesson Planning”*

Maxim Gorky
“One Autumn Night”*
“The Billionaire”*

Mikhail Zoshchenko
“A Forgotten Slogan”
“Domestic Bliss” *
“Electrification” *
“The Galosh” *

Milan Kundera
“The Hitchhiking Game”*
“Nobody Will Laugh”*

Nathaniel Rich
“The Man Who Saves You From Yourself”*

Nikolai Gogol
“Nevsky Prospect”*
“The Nose”

Norman Manea
“Composite Biography”*

Ovidiu Bufnila
“Pataggonia”*

Pam Durban
“A Long Time Coming, A Long Time Gone”

Rachel Kaadzi Ghansch
“If He Hollers Let Him Go”*

Rainer Maria Rilke
“Primal Sound”

Richard Powers
“To the Measures Fall”

Rick Moody
“The Grid”
“Treatment”

Robert Penn Warren
“The Patented Game and the Mean Hamburger”

Robert Pinget
“Fable”*
“That Voice”*

Robert Musil
“Intensivism”
“Monuments”*
“Speed Is Witchy!”
“The Blackbird”*
“Tonka”*

Richard Connell
“The Most Dangerous Game”

Saul Bellow
“Something to Remember Me By”*

Shelly Oria
“Phoenetic Masterpieces of Absurdity”*

Steven Barthleme
“In the Rain”*

Steven Millhauser
“Phantoms”*

Stuart Dybek
“If I Vanished”*
“Tosca”
“Waiting”
“We Didn’t”*

Susan Daitch
“X is not equal to Y”*

Susan Minot
“Lust”*

Svetlana Vasilenko
“The Gopher”*

Thomas Pierce
“Felix Not Arriving”
“The Real Alan Gass”*

Tillie Olsen
“I Stand Here Ironing”*

Tim Maughan
“Limited Edition”*

Tobias Wolff
“Bullet in the Brain”*

Ursula Hegi
“The End of All Sadness”*

Ursula K. LeGuin
“Schrödinger’s Cat”
“The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas”

Vladimir Nabokov
“Spring in Fialta”
“Symbols and Signs”*

William Carlos Williams
“The Use of Force”

William March
“The Little Wife”*

William Trevor

Zadie Smith
“Joy”

Comments are closed.