An offshoot of the oral tradition of storytelling, the short story shot to prominence in the latter half of the 19th century due to an increased demand for short fiction in magazines and journals. Over time, it established itself as an important and popular genre. From Pu Songling�s classic �Painted Skin�, Edgar Allan Poe�s sensational �The Purloined Letter� to Guy de Maupassant�s poignant �Two Friends�, 51 Great Short Stories presents some of the finest works of short fiction. This collection includes master storytellers and perennial favourites like Mary Shelley, Rabindranath Tagore, Edith Wharton, Anton Chekhov, H.G. Wells, O. Henry, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Franz Kafka, Ashapurna Debi, to name a few. Drawn from diverse genres�tragedy, comedy, satire, science fiction, horror, crime fiction, and more�these timeless stories, set amidst a vast spectrum of sociopolitical and personal turmoil, explore the complexities of human nature. A collector�s edition.