A Composite Book
Origins of the American Short Story contains ten short stories, a general introduction, and for each story, notes and commentary. The first nine stories originally appeared in American magazines between 1775 and 1797. For the most part, these are proto-short shories, but together they illustrate the major features that were used in the development of the American short story. The last story in the volume, Washington Irving's "The Adventure of a German Student," illustrates the result of this development and represents the American short story as we know it today.
Origins of the American Short Story is a composite book. Although all the stories have been previously published, they are not widely available. We have brought them together in a single volume and added material to make them more accessable: an introduction, notes, critical commentary, and further reading. In particular, the critical commentary that follows each story gives the book its composite quality: part literature and part criticism. We hope that this format will appeal to both the student of the American short story and the general reader.
from the Table of Contents