Best Short Stories of All Time – Chronological

This is the same list as Best Short Stories of All Time – The Critics’ Picks, but arranged chronologically.  These stories were contained in at least two (sometime as many as 15) different sources, which included both “Best Short Stories” lists and short story anthologies.

1800-1849

      • Rip Van Winkle, by Washington Irving (US, 1819)
      • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, by Washington Irving (US, 1820)
      • The Devil and Tom Walker, by Washington Irving (US, 1824)
      • A Passion in the Desert, by Honoré de Balzac (France, 1830)
      • The Queen of Spades, by Alexander Pushkin (Russia, 1833)
      • Young Goodman Brown, by Nathaniel Hawthorne (US, 1835)
      • The Ambitious Guest, by Nathaniel Hawthorne (US, 1835)
      • The Gray Champion, by Nathaniel Hawthorne (US, 1835)
      • Diary of a Madman, by Nikolai Gogol (Russia, 1835)
      • The Nose, by Nikolai Gogol (Russia, 1835-1836)
      • The Minister’s Black Veil, by Nathaniel Hawthorne (US, 1836)
      • David Swan, by Nathaniel Hawthorne (US, 1837)
      • The Eclipse, by James Fenimore Cooper (US, 1833-1838)
      • The Fall of the House of Usher, by Edgar Allan Poe (US, 1839)
      • The Overcoat, by Nikolai Gogol (Russia, 1842)
      • The Pit and the Pendulum, by Edgar Allan Poe (US, 1842)
      • The Masque of the Red Death, by Edgar Allan Poe (US, 1842)
      • The Tell-Tale Heart, by Edgar Allan Poe (US, 1843)
      • The Gold Bug, by Edgar Allan Poe (US, 1843)
      • The Birthmark, by Nathaniel Hawthorne (US, 1843)
      • Rappaccini’s Daughter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne (US, 1844)
      • The Purloined Letter, by Edgar Allan Poe (US, 1844)
      • The Cask of Amontillado, by Edgar Allan Poe (US, 1846)
      • The Christmas Tree and the Wedding, by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Russia, 1848)

1850-1899

      • The District Doctor, by Ivan Turgenev (Russia, 1852)
      • Bartleby, the Scrivener, by Herman Melville (US, 1853)
      • The Lightning-Rod Man, by Herman Melville (US, 1854)
      • The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, by Mark Twain (US, 1865)
      • The Signal-Man, by Charles Dickens (UK, 1866)
      • The Luck of Roaring Camp, by Bret Harte (US, 1868)
      • The Outcasts of Poker Flat, by Bret Harte (US, 1869)
      • Tennessee’s Partner, by Bret Harte (US, 1869)
      • Scarlet Stockings, by Louisa May Alcott (US, 1869)
      • A Fight with a Cannon, by Victor Hugo (France, c. 1870)
      • The Legend of St. Julian the Hospitaller, by Gustave Flaubert (France, 1877)
      • Boule de Suif, by Guy de Maupassant (France, 1880)
      • Thrawn Janet, by Robert Louis Stevenson (UK, 1881)
      • A Lodging for the Night, by Robert Louis Stevenson (UK, 1882)
      • The Lady or the Tiger?, by Frank Stockton (US, 1882)
      • Two Views of The Mississippi, by Mark Twain (US, 1883)
      • The Necklace, by Guy de Maupassant (France, 1884)
      • The Three Questions, by Leo Tolstoy (Russia, 1885)
      • The Private History of a Campaign That Failed, by Mark Twain (US, 1885)
      • The Huntsmen, by Anton Chekhov (Russia, 1885)
      • The Looking Glass, by Anton Chekhov (Russia, 1885)
      • The Griffin and the Minor Canon, by Frank Stockton (US, 1885)
      • Vanka, by Anton Chekhov (Russia, 1886)
      • The Death of Ivan Ilyich, by Leo Tolstoy (Russia, 1886)
      • How Much Land Does A Man Need?, by Leo Tolstoy (Russia, 1886)
      • The Horla, by Guy de Maupassant (France, 1887)
      • The Man Who Would be King, by Rudyard Kipling (UK/India, 1888)
      • The Nightingale and the Rose, by Oscar Wilde (Ireland, 1888)
      • The Happy Prince, by Oscar Wilde (Ireland, 1888)
      • The Selfish Giant, by Oscar Wilde (Ireland, 1888)
      • The Bet, by Anton Chekhov (Russia, 1889)
      • Chickamauga, by Ambrose Bierce (US, 1889)
      • A Horseman in the Sky, by Ambrose Bierce (US, 1889)
      • An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, by Ambrose Bierce (US, 1890)
      • Without Benefit of Clergy, by Rudyard Kipling (UK/India, 1890)
      • A New England Nun, by Mary Wilkins Freeman (US, 1891)
      • The Boarded Window, by Ambrose Bierce (US, 1891)
      • The Bottle Imp, by Robert Louis Stevenson (UK, 1891)
      • Under The Lion’s Paw, by Hamlin Garland (US, 1891)
      • The Red-Headed League, by Arthur Conan Doyle (UK, 1891)
      • The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (US, 1892)
      • Desiree’s Baby, by Kate Chopin (US, 1893)
      • The Story of an Hour, by Kate Chopin (US, 1894)
      • Regret, by Kate Chopin (US, 1894)
      • Rikki Tikki Tavi, by Rudyard Kipling (UK/India, 1894)
      • The House with the Mezzanine, by Anton Chekhov (Russia, 1896)
      • The Figure in the Carpet, by Henry James (US/UK, 1896)
      • Little Herr Friedemann, by Thomas Mann (Germany, 1896)
      • A Pair of Silk Stockings, by Kate Chopin (US, 1896-1897)
      • The Open Boat, by Stephen Crane (US, 1897)
      • Gooseberries, by Anton Chekhov (Russia, 1898)
      • The Lady with the Dog, by Anton Chekhov (Russia, 1899)
      • Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad (Poland/UK, 1899)

1900-1949

      • A Dark Brown Dog, by Stephen Crane (US, pub. 1901)
      • The Monkey’s Paw, by W.W. Jacobs (UK, 1902)
      • How the Leopard Got His Spots, by Rudyard Kipling (UK/India, 1902)
      • Youth, by Joseph Conrad (Poland/UK, 1902)
      • One Autumn Night, by Maxim Gorky (Russia, 1902)
      • The Omnibus, by Arthur Quiller-Couch (UK, 1902)
      • A Dog’s Tale, by Mark Twain (US, 1903)
      • Was it Heaven? Or Hell?, by Mark Twain (US, 1903)
      • The Mezzotint, by M.R. James (UK, 1904)
      • The Cop and the Anthem, by O. Henry (US, 1904)
      • The Gift of the Magi, by O. Henry (US, 1905)
      • Paul’s Case, by Willa Cather (US, 1905)
      • Eve’s Diary, by Mark Twain (US, 1905)
      • The Last Leaf, by O. Henry (US, 1906)
      • The Skylight Room, by O. Henry (US, 1906)
      • The Furnished Room, by O. Henry (US, 1906)
      • Lazarus, by Leonid Andreyev (Russia, 1906)
      • The Willows, by Algernon Blackwood (UK, 1907)
      • To Build a Fire, by Jack London (US, 1908)
      • On The Gull’s Road, by Willa Cather (US, 1908)
      • The Cactus, by O. Henry (US, c. 1905-1909)
      • The Princess and the Puma, by O. Henry (US, c. 1905-1909)
      • A Municipal Report, by O. Henry (US, c. 1905-1909)
      • Gabriel-Ernest, by Saki (H.H. Munro) (UK, 1909)
      • The Machine Stops, by E.M. Forster (UK, 1909)
      • The Secret Sharer, by Joseph Conrad (Poland/UK, 1909-1910)
      • The Schartz-Metterklume Method, by Saki (H.H. Munro) (UK, 1910)
      • The Odour of Chrysanthemums, by D.H. Lawrence (UK, 1911)
      • The Other Side of the Hedge, by E.M. Forster (UK, 1911)
      • How the Widow Won the Deacon, by William James Lampton (US, 1911)
      • Casting the Runes, by M.R. James (UK, 1911)
      • Sredni Vashtar, by Saki (H.H. Munro) (UK, c. 1900-1914)
      • Araby, by James Joyce (Ireland, 1914)
      • The Dead, by James Joyce (Ireland, 1914)
      • Eveline, by James Joyce (Ireland, 1914)
      • The Sisters, by James Joyce (Ireland, 1914)
      • The Open Window, by Saki (H.H. Munro) (UK, 1914)
      • In the Penal Colony, by Franz Kafka (Austria-Hungary, 1914, pub. 1919)
      • The Prussian Officer, by D.H. Lawrence (UK, 1914)
      • Dracula’s Guest, by Bram Stoker (Ireland, 1914)
      • The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka (Austria-Hungary, 1915)
      • The McWilliamses and the Burglar Alarm, by Mark Twain (US, pub. 1916)
      • The Tale, by Joseph Conrad (Poland/UK, 1917)
      • I Want to Know Why, by Sherwood Anderson (US, 1918)
      • A Madman’s Diary, by Lu Xun (China, 1918)
      • Kew Gardens, by Virginia Woolf (UK, 1919)
      • A. V. Laider, by Max Beerbohm (UK, 1919)
      • The Interlopers, by Saki (H.H. Munro) (UK, 1919)
      • Bliss, by Katherine Mansfield (New Zealand/UK, 1920)
      • The Other Woman, by Sherwood Anderson (US, 1920)
      • A Haunted House, by Virginia Woolf (UK, 1921)
      • Rain, by W. Somerset Maugham (UK, 1921)
      • A Hunger Artist, by Franz Kafka (Austria-Hungary, 1922)
      • The Garden Party, by Kathleen Mansfield (New Zealand/UK, 1922)
      • The Fly, by Katherine Mansfield (New Zealand/UK, 1922)
      • The Doll’s House, by Katherine Mansfield (New Zealand/UK, 1922)
      • The Diamond as Big as the Ritz, by F. Scott Fitzgerald (US, 1922)
      • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, by F. Scott Fitzgerald (US, 1922)
      • The Horse Dealer’s Daughter, by D.H. Lawrence (UK, 1922)
      • I’m a Fool, by Sherwood Anderson (US, 1922)
      • The Most Dangerous Game, by Richard Connell (US, 1924)
      • The Story of My Dovecot, by Isaac Babel (Ukraine/USSR, 1925)
      • Haircut, by Ring Lardner (US, 1925)
      • The Rocking-Horse Winner, by D.H. Lawrence (UK, 1926)
      • My First Goose, by Isaac Babel (Ukraine/USSR, 1926)
      • The Gardener, by Rudyard Kipling (UK/India, 1926)
      • Hills Like White Elephants, by Ernest Hemingway (US, 1927)
      • The Killers, by Ernest Hemingway (US, 1927)
      • A Jury of her Peers, by Susan Glaspell (US, 1927)
      • The Dunwich Horror, by H.P. Lovecraft (US, 1929)
      • A Rose for Emily, by William Faulkner (US, 1930)
      • A Telephone Call, by Dorothy Parker (US, 1930)
      • Babylon Revisited, by F. Scott Fitzgerald (US, 1930)
      • The Jilting of Granny Wetherall, by Katherine Anne Porter (US, 1930)
      • Flowering Judas, by Katherine Anne Porter (US, 1930)
      • Theft, by Katherine Anne Porter (US, 1930)
      • Guests of the Nation, by Frank O’Connor (Ireland, 1931)
      • That Evening Sun (That Evening Sun Go Down), by William Faulkner (US, 1931)
      • Dry September, by William Faulkner (US, 1931)
      • Terra Incognita, by Vladimir Nabokov (USSR/US, 1931)
      • Guy de Maupassant, by Isaac Babel (Ukraine/USSR, 1932)
      • A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, by Ernest Hemingway (US, 1933)
      • A Day’s Wait, by Ernest Hemingway (US, 1933)
      • Our Lady’s Juggler, by Anatole France (France, 1933)
      • Death in the Woods, by Sherwood Anderson (US, 1933)
      • Silent Snow, Secret Snow, by Conrad Aiken (US, 1934)
      • The Snows of Kilimanjaro, by Ernest Hemingway (US, 1936)
      • The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, by Ernest Hemingway (US, 1936)
      • Spring in Fialta, by Vladimir Nabokov (USSR/US, 1936)
      • Shooting An Elephant, by George Orwell (UK, 1936)
      • In Dreams Begin Responsibilities, by Delmore Schwartz (US, 1937)
      • The Leader of the People, by John Steinbeck (US, 1937)
      • The Devil and Daniel Webster, by Stephen Vincent Benét (US, 1937)
      • The Use of Force, by William Carlos Williams (US, 1938)
      • Leiningen versus the Ants, by Carl Stephenson (Germany, 1938)
      • The Chrysanthemums, by John Steinbeck (US, 1938)
      • Flight, by John Steinbeck (US, 1938)
      • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, by James Thurber (US, 1939)
      • Barn Burning, by William Faulkner (US, 1939)
      • The Door, by E. B White (US, 1939)
      • The Wall, by Jean-Paul Sartre (France, 1939)
      • First Confession, by Frank O’Connor (Ireland, 1939)
      • The Girls In Their Summer Dresses, by Irwin Shaw (US, 1939)
      • Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius, by Jorge Luis Borges (Argentina, 1940)
      • A Worn Path, by Eudora Welty (US, 1941)
      • The Hitch-Hikers, by Eudora Welty (US, 1941)
      • The Garden of Forking Paths, by Jorge Luis Borges (Argentina, 1941)
      • Madame Zilensky and the King of Finland, by Carson McCullers (US, 1941)
      • Nightfall, by Isaac Asimov (USSR/US, 1941)
      • Sorrow-Acre, by Isak Dinesen (Denmark, 1942)
      • Beware of the Dog, by Roald Dahl (UK, 1944)
      • The Aleph, by Jorge Luis Borges (Argentina, 1945)
      • The Demon Lover, by Elizabeth Bowen (Ireland/UK, 1945)
      • Miriam, by Truman Capote (US, 1945)
      • First Love, by Samuel Beckett (Ireland/France, 1946, pub. 1973)
      • Sinners, by Seán Ó Faoláin (Ireland, 1947)
      • The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson (US, 1948)
      • Symbols and Signs, by Vladimir Nabokov (Russia/US, 1948)
      • A Perfect Day for a Bananafish, by J.D. Salinger (US, 1948)
      • A Man From the South, by Roald Dahl (UK, 1948)
      • Miami-New York, by Martha Gellhorn (US, 1948)
      • The Saint, by V.S. Pritchett (UK, c. 1940s)

1950-1999

      • The Veldt, by Ray Bradbury (US, 1950)
      • For Esmé – with Love and Squalor, by J.D. Salinger (US, 1950)
      • Goodbye, My Brother, by John Cheever (US, 1951)
      • Bestiary, by Julio Cortázar (Argentina, 1951)
      • The Chaser, by John Collier (UK, 1951)
      • Christmas Every Day (Christmas Not Just Once a Year), by Heinrich Böll (Germany, 1951)
      • The Resemblance Between a Violin Case and a Coffin, by Tennessee Williams (US, 1951)
      • A Sound of Thunder, by Ray Bradbury (US, 1952)
      • A Child’s Christmas in Wales, by Dylan Thomas (UK, 1952)
      • A Mother’s Tale, by James Agee (US, 1952)
      • A Good Man Is Hard to Find, by Flannery O’Connor (US, 1953)
      • Gimpel the Fool, by Isaac Bashevis Singer (Poland/US, 1953)
      • All Summer in a Day, by Ray Bradbury (US, 1954)
      • The Five-Forty-Eight, by John Cheever (US, 1954)
      • The Country Husband, by John Cheever (US, 1954)
      • The Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, by Gabriel García Márquez (Colombia, 1955)
      • The Artificial Nigger, by Flannery O’Connor (US, 1955)
      • Good Country People, by Flannery O’Connor (US, 1955)
      • Continuity of Parks, by Julio Cortázar (Argentina, 1956)
      • Sonny’s Blues, by James Baldwin (US, 1957)
      • The Habit of Loving, by Doris Lessing (UK, 1957)
      • The Adulterous Woman, by Albert Camus (Algeria/France, 1957)
      • The Challenge, by Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru, 1958)
      • The Last Mohican, by Bernard Malamud (US, 1958)
      • The Sacrificial Egg, by Chinua Achebe (Nigeria, 1959)
      • The Ledge, by Lawrence Sargent Hall (US, 1959)
      • Defender of the Faith, by Philip Roth (US, 1959)
      • The Landlady, by Roald Dahl (UK, 1959)
      • Borges and I, by Jorge Luis Borges (Argentina, 1960)
      • Patriotism, by Yukio Mishima (Japan, 1960)
      • Harrison Bergeron, by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (US, 1961)
      • A & P, by John Updike (US, 1961)
      • I Stand Here Ironing, by Tillie Olsen (US, 1961)
      • Almos’ a Man (The Man who was Almost a Man), by Richard Wright (US, 1961)
      • Lifeguard, by John Updike (US, 1961)
      • Pigeon Feathers, by John Updike (US, 1962)
      • Let Them Call It Jazz, by Jean Rhys (Dominica/UK, 1962)
      • Gogol’s Wife, by Tomasso Landolfi (Italy, 1963)
      • The Jewbird, by Bernard Malamud (US, 1963)
      • The Swimmer, by John Cheever (US, 1964)
      • The Doll Queen, by Carlos Fuentes (Mexico, 1964)
      • One Arm, by Yasunari Kawabata (Japan, 1964)
      • All at One Point, by Italo Calvino (Italy, 1965)
      • Parker’s Back, by Flannery O’Connor (US, 1965)
      • Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?, by Joyce Carol Oates (US, 1966)
      • The Night Face Up, by Julio Cortázar (Argentina, 1967)
      • Henne Fire, by Isaac Bashevis Singer (Poland/US, 1968)
      • How I Contemplated the World from the Detroit House of Correction and Began My Life Over Again, by Joyce Carol Oates (US, 1969)
      • The Suitcase, by Cynthia Ozick (US, 1971)
      • Naga, by R.K. Narayan (India, 1972)
      • Everyday Use, by Alice Walker (US, 1973)
      • The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, by Ursula Le Guin (US, 1973)
      • Five-Twenty, by Patrick White (Australia, 1974)
      • Bluebell Meadow, by Benedict Kiely (Ireland, 1975)
      • The School, by Donald Barthelme (US, 1976)
      • Rape Fantasies, by Margaret Atwood (Canada, 1977)
      • A Family Man, by V.S. Pritchett (UK, 1977)
      • The Bloody Chamber, by Angela Carter (UK, 1979)
      • The Shawl, by Cynthia Ozick (US, 1980)
      • Why Don’t You Dance, by Raymond Carver (US, 1981)
      • The Old Demon, by Pearl S. Buck (US, pub. 1981)
      • Hollow, by Breece D’J Pancake (US, 1982)
      • Cathedral, by Raymond Carver (US, 1983)
      • Greasy Lake, by T.C. Boyle (US, 1985)
      • The Chosen Husband, by Mavis Gallant (Canada/France, 1985)
      • The Elephant Vanishes, by Haruki Murakami (Japan, 1985)
      • Communist, by Richard Ford (US, 1986)
      • The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien (US, 1987)
      • You Can’t Get Lost in Cape Town, by Zoë Wicomb (South Africa, 1987)
      • White Angel, by Michael Cunningham (US, 1988)
      • The Management of Grief, by Bharati Mukherjee (India/US, 1988)
      • You’re Ugly, Too, by Lorrie Moore (US, 1989)
      • Friend of my Youth, by Alice Munro (Canada, 1990)
      • Death by Landscape, by Margaret Atwood (Canada, 1990)
      • A Real Doll, by A.M. Homes (US, 1990)
      • The Pugilist at Rest, by Thom Jones (US, 1991)
      • They’re Made out of Meat, by Terry Bisson (US, 1991)
      • Silver Water, by Amy Bloom (US, 1991)
      • Never Marry a Mexican, by Sandra Cisneros (Mexico/US, 1991)
      • Emergency, by Denis Johnson (US, 1992)
      • I Want to Live!, by Thom Jones (US, 1993)
      • Bullet in the Brain, by Tobias Wolff (US, 1995)
      • Drown, by Junot Díaz (Dominican Republic/US, 1996)
      • Night Women, by Edwidge Danticat (Haiti/US, 1996)
      • Tiny, Smiling Daddy, by Mary Gaitskill (US, 1997)
      • Brokeback Mountain, by Annie Proulx (US, 1997)
      • Sea Oak, by George Saunders (US, 1998)
      • Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri (UK/US, 1999)
      • The Bear Came Over the Mountain, by Alice Munro (Canada, 1999)

2000-Present

    • Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, by ZZ Packer (US, 2000)
    • Travis B, by Maile Meloy (US, 2002)
    • What You Pawn, I Will Redeem, by Sherman Alexie (US, 2003)
    • Paradise, by Ali Smith (UK, 2003)
    • The First Day, by Edward P. Jones (US, 2004)
    • The Man on the Stairs, by Miranda July (US, 2007)
    • A Tiny Feast, by Chris Adrian (US, 2009)
    • Safari, by Jennifer Egan (US, 2010)
    • Lorry Raja, by Madhuri Vijay (India/US, 2012)
    • Italy, by Antonio Elefano (US, 2012)
    • The Zero Meter Diving Team, by Jim Shepard (US, 2014)

3 thoughts on “Best Short Stories of All Time – Chronological

  1. Ryan

    Hello, great list. May I ask which lists you used in compiling your master list? Thank you.

    Reply
  2. Ryan

    Not sure if it went through…I was asking if you could share with me the lists you used to make the master list…

    Reply
    1. beckchris Post author

      Ryan: I tried to send you some of the information you were looking for by sending it to the e-mail address connected with your comment but the e-mails kept bouncing back. Do you have another address?

      – John B.

      Reply

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