A vibrant journey through the annals of classic American short stories. 21 Essential American Short Stories is a collection of beloved stories that have comprised an important part of the fabric of our culture, from the earliest days of our nation to the twentieth century. Some of the stories, such as Washington Irving' s "Rip Van Winkle," O. Henry' s "The Gift of the Magi," William Faulkner' s "A Rose for Emily," Charlotte Perkins Gilman' s "The Yellow Wallpaper," and James Thurber' s "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," have been long regarded as literary classics, while others, such as Frank Stockton' s "The Lady or the Tiger?" and Ellis Parker Butler' s "Pigs Is Pigs," are lesser known but well worth discovering. The carefully selected stories, each preceded by an illuminating headnote, powerfully illustrate the varied richness of our national literature and history. This beautifully packaged volume, containing the unforgettable classic short stories that evoke our shared American tradition and national identity, makes the perfect gift for the short story aficionado and novice alike.