Date of Award

Summer 1960

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




The purpose of this paper is to analyze and review the contemporary short story by means of an intensive study of The Best American Short Stories of the past ten years. The obvious weakness of the project is that all these two hundred and forty-five short stories were selected as the best of each year by one person, Martha Foley. While she is generally respected as a critic, still her opinions are based on her own taste and judgement alone. It is possible that she leans too much toward avant­-garde stories, or even that she may prefer stories of one subject over stories of another. Therefore, it must a always be remembered that the original selection was hers and may not be as representative as one could wish. On the other hand. however, it seemed advisable to study a group of stories which had already been sorted and selected, rather than just read as many stories as possible by as many writers as possible.