For those who love reading short stories, imagine the genre without the likes of Edgar Allen Poe or O’Henry, J.D Salinger or Issac Asimov, Washington Irving or F Scott Fitzgerald! Completely bleak and sombre isn’t it? And why not for reading short stories is incomplete without having read O’Henry’s ‘The Gift of Magi’ or Poe’s ‘The Tell Tale Heart’, Asimov’s ‘I, Robot’ and ‘The Bicentennial Man’ or Irving’s ‘Rip Van Winkle’. That is the influence that American writers have casted over the genre of short story. Usually shorter than a novel with a brief fictional prose narrative, short stories have found universal acceptance. A short story usually has a small cast of characters and revolves around one or two incidents, thus evoking a particular effect or mood. What gives short story an edge over lengthy novels is that despite relatively limited scope, it provides a satisfying treatment to its characters and subjects! While the aforementioned are some of the greatest American short story writers that the country has ever produced, the new-age writers have also given readers compelling work that has simply been unputdownable, be it George Saunders and his ‘Pastoralia’ or Wells Tower and his ‘Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned’ or Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Egan and her ‘A Visit from the Goon Squad’. Read this section to know about the life and works of famous American short story writers.