Modern Short Fiction and Novellas

Home/ Modern Short Fiction and Novellas
Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Discipline CoreSUS1EN2584

Time Slot- Mon: 11.10am -1.10pm, Wed: 11.10am-1.10pm

Course Coordinator: Sayandeb Chowdhury

Email of course coordinator: sayandeb[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: None

Semester and Year Offered: II Semester (Winter Semester 2021)

Course Coordinator and Team: Dr Manish Sharma and Dr Usha Mudiganti

Email of course coordinator: usha[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: Interest in fiction and the ability to analyze it

Course Objectives

  • To look at fiction as a specific category in literature with its own unique characteristics
  • The course proposes an in-depth analysis of a few short stories and novellas to study the form while delving into various themes contextualized in time, locale and history as well as the biographical and psychic trajectory of the author.
  • The stories are selected keeping in mind the need to broaden the perspective of the readers. For this purpose, each story belongs to a different sub-genre and represents different modes of writing. As the writers belong to different countries, hence the present selection almost serves as a window to the literature of various countries.
  • The selected stories represent a few specific sub-genres; such as suspense narratives, allegory, satire, epistolary writing, partition narratives, political allegories, autobiographical writings, protest narratives, subaltern literature, among several other forms of writings.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

Module 1: Principles of Narratology: Short Fiction

The first module will introduce the specific form of short fiction. It will begin with a brief overview of the emergence of short stories. Further it will introduce students to the principles of Narratology. The module will offer an introduction to literary terms related to fiction such as Irony, Satire, Plot, Character, Tone, Atmosphere, Mood, Setting, Context, Time, Narration, Point of View, Structure, Form and a few critical theories and approaches related to understanding fiction.

Module 2: The Short Story

This module will demonstrate the various aspects of short fiction through an in depth analysis of the stories listed below. The selection of stories, represent: Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, French, British, American, African American, African, Australian, and Canadian literatures. The selected stories represent a few specific forms of fiction; such as fables, detective fiction, satire, fantasy, epistolary writing, the diary form, confessional narratives, partition narratives, political allegories, protest narratives, science fiction, among several forms of short fiction. The course instructors will undertake a detailed analysis of six of the stories listed below. The remaining stories will be discussed through student presentations.

  • Gogol, Nikolai. “The Overcoat”. 1842. Web. 13 Apr. 2015.
  • Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Purloined Letter”. 1845. Web. 13 Apr. 2015.
  • Maupassant. “Forgiveness”. 1882. Web. 13 Apr. 2015.
  • Chekhov, Antom. “Grief”. 1885. Web. 13 Apr. 2015.
  • Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. 1892. “The Yellow Wallpaper”. The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Writings. New York: Bantam Dell/ Random House, Inc., 2006.
  • Henry, O. “The Gift of the Magi" 1905. Web. 16 Apr. 2015.
  • Rabindranath. “A Wife’s Letter”. 1914. Once upon a time… (Ed.) Charu Sharma, Diamond Oberoi Vahali. New Delhi: Foundation Books. 2003.
  • Lu Xun.“A Madman's Diary". 1918. Web. 17 Apr. 2015.
  • Kafka, Franz. “In the Penal Colony”. 1919. Web. 13 Apr. 2015.
  • Lawrence, D. H. “The Rocking Horse Winner”. 1926. Once upon a time… (Ed.) Charu Sharma, Diamond Oberoi Vahali. New Delhi: Foundation Books. 2003.
  • Premchand “Kafan”. 1936. Premchand: The Complete Short Stories: Vol. 1 (Ed.) M. Asaduddin, New Delhi: Penguin Books , 2018.
  • Bradbury , Ray. “The Fog Horn”. 1951. Web. 13 Apr. 2015
  • Manto, “Toba Tek Singh.” 1955. Stories About the Partition of India. (Ed.) Alok Bhalla. Delhi: HarperCollins, 1999.
  • Chugtai, Ismat. “Choti Ka Jora”. The Inner Courtyard: Stories by Indian Women. (Ed.) Lakshmi Holmstorm. London: Virago, 1990.
  • Clarke, Arthur. C. “The Star”. 1955. The Nine Billion Names of God: The Best Short Stories of Arthur C. Clarke .1967: rpt. NY: Signet/NAL, 1974: 235-240.
  • Patrick White, “The Letters”. The Burnt Ones. Australia: Penguin, 1974.
  • Head, Bessie. “Heaven is not Closed”. The Collector of Treasures and Other Botswana Village Tales. 1977. London: Heinemann, 1982.
  • Devi, Mahasweta. “The Breast Giver”. Breast Stories: Behind the Bodice, Draupadi, Breast Giver. Trans. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. Calcutta: Seagull, 1997.
  • Walker, Alice. “The Abortion”. 1980. Web. 13 Apr. 2015.
  • Atwood, Margaret. "The Female Body." Good Bones and Simple Murders. New York: Nan A. Talese, Doubleday, 1994.
  • Ishiguro, Kazuo. "Nocturne". Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall. London: Faber and Faber, 2009.
  • Roald Dahl “Lamb to a slaughter”
  • Rashid Jahan “AVisit to Delhi”

Module 3: Novellas

This module will introduce the form of a novella as distinct from a short story. The novella is a complex and a more elaborate form of fiction as it can involve more than a single plot line and several complex narrative devices. This module will deal with three significant novellas. The module will undertake an in depth analysis of the novellas listed below: The three novellas introduced in this module represent literatures from Russia, America and Latin America.

  • Dostovesky, Fyodor. “White Nights”. 1848. Web. 13 Apr. 2015.
  • Hemingway, Ernest. The Old Man and the Sea. New York: Scribner Paperback Fiction, 1995.
  • Marquez, Gabriel Garcia. No One Writes to the Colonel. 1968. India: Penguin Books. 1996.
  • References:
  • Baldick, Chris. Oxford Concise Dictionary of Literary Terms. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.
  • Booth, Wayne. The Rhetoric of Fiction. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961.
  • Cuddon, J.A. A Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory (Fourth Edition). Maye Blackwell: Doaba House, 1998.
  • Foster, E.M. Aspects of the Novel. New York: Harcourt, 1954.
  • Gurerin, Labor, Morgan, Reesman, Willingham. A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature (Fourth Edition). New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
  • Harvey, W. J. “Character and the Human Context”. Character and the Novel. New York: Cornell University Press, 1968.
  • Harvey, W. J. “Character and the Context of things”. Character and the Novel. New York: Cornell University Press, 1968.
  • Lodge, David (Ed). Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. London: Longman, 1972.
  • Murfin, Ross and Ray. M. Supriya. The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms. Boston: Bedford Books, 1998.
  • Mark Scholes, “Technique as Discovery." Hudson Review 1.1 (1948): 67-87.
  • Shroder Maurice Z, “The Novel as a Genre” The Massachusetts Review.Vol. 4, No. 2 (Winter, 1963), pp. 291-308.
  • Wimsatt, WK, Jr. and Cleanth Brooks. Literary Criticism: A Short History, New York: Alfred A Knopf, 1957.
  • Further Ian Watt’s “Two Tone Fiction”, Frank Kermode’s “Major statements”, Crane’s, “Concept of Plot” and selections from David Lodge’s, The Language of Fiction and Percy Lubbock, Craft of Fiction may also be referred to.

Assessment structure (modes and frequency of assessments):

S. No.


Period in which the assessment will take place



Mid-term exam

End of June



Presentation and Paper




End Term Exam

End of July