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The Greatest Story Collections

Greatest Stories | Greatest Story Collections

Often an author's compilation of short stories is acclaimed as much as or more than any particular prose work in the collection. That's what this list is for. It presents the greatest story collections from all genres, cultures and times.

Preference is given to volumes produced by authors during their writing careers, though we have occasionally had to resort to later selected and collected works.

Titles most appreciated by readers, writers, critics and scholars have been determined through the same  extensive research and surveys that created the Greatest Literature of All Time.

This list, as all our lists, is a work always in progress. New publications, changing tastes and further research will necessitate additions and revisions to the list in the coming years.

Latest update: July 30, 2022

The 111 greatest story collections of all time

Click linked titles and authors for details, critiques and other comments.

c.600–500 BCE
Fables
Aesop
Greece
Story collection
including The Fox and the Grapes, The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs, The Tortoise and the Hare, and more
c.300 BCE
Zhuangzi
Zhuang Zhou
China
Story collection
c.200–300 BCE
Panchatantra
Anonymous
India
Story collection
c.290
Records of Diverse Matters
Zhang Hua
China
Story collection
c.800
Book of Misers
Al-Jahiz
Iraq
Story collection
c.800–1200
Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor
Anonymous
Persia
Story collection
c.800–1400
One Thousand and One Nights
Anonymous
Persia
Story collection
including Tale of the Fisherman and the Jinni, The Tale of the Three Apples, The Barber's Tale of Himself, and more
1335
Tales of a Parrot
Nakhshabi
Persia
Story collection
1558
The Heptaméron
Marguerite de Navarre
France
Story collection
1697
Tales of Mother Goose
Charles Perrault
France
Story collection
including Cinderella, Puss in Boots, Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, and others
1812–1857
Germany
Story collection
including Cinderella, Little Red Cap, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, Snow White, Rumpelstiltskin, Tom Thumb, and others
1819–1820
The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.
Washington Irving
United states
Story collection
including Rip Van winkle, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and others
1832
Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka
Nikolai Gogol
Ukraine
Story collection
1837
Twice-Told Tales
Nathaniel Hawthorne
United States
Story collection
1839
United States
Story collection
including The Fall of the House of Usher, The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall, MS. Found in a Bottle, and others
1840–1847
The Ingoldsby Legends
Richard Harris Barham
England
Stories in three volumes
1845
Tales
United States
Story collection
including The Gold-Bug, A Descent into the Maelstrom, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Purloined Letter, and others
1852
A Sportsman's Sketches
Ivan Turgenev
Russia
Story collection
1858
Scenes of Clerical Life
George Eliot
England
Story collection
1872
Fairy Tales and Stories
Hans Christian Andersen
Denmark
Story collection
 
In a Glass Darkly
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
Ireland
Story collection
1877
Three Tales
Gustave Flaubert
France
Story collection
1886
Motley Stories
Anton Chekhov
Russia
Story collection
1887
At Dusk
Anton Chekhov
Russia
Story collection
1888
Plain Tales From the Hills
Rudyard Kipling
England
Story collection
 
The Happy Prince and Other Tales
Oscar Wilde
Ireland
Story collection
1892
England
Story  collection
including A Scandal in Bohemia, The Red-Headed League, The Adventure of the Speckled Band, and others
 
Tales of Soldiers and Civilians
Ambrose Bierce
United States
Story collection
1894
England
Novel
including Silver Blaze, The Greek Interpreter, The Final Problem, and others
 
The Jungle Book
Rudyard Kipling
England
Story collection
 
Tevye the Dairyman
Sholom Aleichem
Ukraine
Story collection
1902
Just So Stories
Rudyard Kipling
England
Story collection
1904
Cabbages and Kings
O. Henry
United States
Story cycle
1905
Arthur Conan Doyle
England
Story collection
1911
England
Story collection
including The Blue Cross, The Invisible Man, The Hammer of God, and others
 
The Country of the Blind and Other Stories
H.G. Wells
England
Story collection
1914
The Prussian Officer and Other Stories
D.H. Lawrence
England
Story collection
 
Ireland
Story collection
1914–1917
Bunch of Stories
Rabindranath Tagore
Bengal
Story collection
1919
Winesburg, Ohio
Sherwood Anderson
United States
Story cycle
1922
Rashōmon and Other Stories
Ryūnosuke Akutagawa
Japan
Story collection
 
United States
Story collection
1925
United States
Story collection
including The Doctor and the Doctor's Wife, The Three Day Blow, The Big Two-Hearted River, and others
1926
Winnie-the-Pooh
A.A. Milne
England
Story collection
1927
Men Without Women
United States
Story collection
including Hills Like White Elephants, The Killers, Ten Indians, and others
1928
Ashendon: Or the British Agent
W. Somerset Maugham
England
Story collection
1931
Odessa Stories
Isaac Babel
Russia
Story collection
 
Guys and Dolls
Damon Runyon
United States
Story collection
1933
Winner Take Nothing
United States
Story collection
including A Clean, Well-Lighted Place; A Natural History of the Dead; The Gambler, the Nun, and the Radio; and others
1935
United States
Story collection
1939
Pale Horse, Pale Rider
Katherine Anne Porter
United States
Story collection
1941
A Curtain of Green
Eudora Welty
United States
Story collection
1941–1956
Fictions
Jorge Luis Borges
Argentina
Story collection
1943
Mythology
Edith Hamilton
United States
Story collection
1946
Adventures in Time and Space
ed. Rymond J. Healy, J. Francis McComas
United States
Story collection
1947
The Lottery and Other Stories
Shirley Jackson
United States
Story collection
1950
United States
Story collection
 
The Martian Chronicles
United States
Story collection
1951
The Complete Short Stories
W. Somerset Maugham
England
Story collection
 
The Book of Deeds
S.Y. Agnon
Israel
Story collection
 
The Illustrated Man
United States
Story collection
1953
The Burning Plain and Other Stories
Juan Rulfo
Mexico
Story collection
 
Nine Stories
J.D. Salinger
United States
Story collection
including A Perfect Day for Bananafish, For Esmé—With Love and Squalor, and others
1955
A Good Man Is Hard to Find
Flannery O'Connor
United States
Story collection
1958
The Magic Barrel
Berbard Malamud
United States
Story collection
1959
Canada
Story collection
 
Goodbye, Columbus and Five Short Stories
United States
Novella and story collection
1962–1983
Labyrinths
Jorge Luis Borges
Argentina
Story collection
1963
Stories of Manto
Saadat Hasan Manto
Pakistan
Story collection
 
Short Friday and Other Stories
Isaac Bashevis Singeer
United States
Story collection
1965
EVerything That Rises Must Converge
Flannery O'Connor
United States
Story collection
1967
Dangerous Visions
Various, ed. Harlan Ellison
United States
Story collection
1968
In the Heart of the Heart of the Country
William H. Gass
United States
Story collection
 
The Séance and Other Stories
Isaac Bashevis Singeer
United States
Story collection
1971
Lives of Girls and Women
Alice Munro
Canada
Story collection
 
The Complete Stories
Franz Kafka
Germany
Story collection
1972
Again, Dangerous Visions
Various, ed. Harlan Ellison
United States
Story collection in two volumes
1974
Enormous Changes at the Last Minute
Grace Paley
United States
Story collection
1975
The Wind's Twelve Quarters
Ursula Le Guin
United States
Story collection
1976
Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?
Raymond Carver
United States
Story collection
1977
The Beggar Maid
Alice Munro
Canada
Story cycle
 
Delta of Venus
Anaïs Nin
United States
Story collection
1978
Rumpole of the Bailey
John Mortimer
England
Story collection
 
The Stories of John Cheever
John Cheever
United States
Story collection
1979
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories
Angela Carter
England
Story collection
1981
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
Raymond Carver
United States
Story collection
1983
Cathedral
Raymond Carver
United States
Story collection
1987
You Can't Get Lost in Cape Town
Zoë Wicomb
South Africa
Story cycle
1988
Where I'm Calling From
Raymond Carver
United States
Story collection
1990
Like Life
Lorrie Moore
United States
Story collection
 
The Things They Carried
Tim O'Brien
United States
Story cycle
1992
Jesus' Son
Denis Johnson
United States
Story collection
1996
Selected Stories
Mavis Gallant
Canada
Story collection
including The Moslem Wife, In Youth Is Pleasure, The Chosen Husband, In Plain Sight, and others
 
Quilt and Other Stories
Ismat Chugtai
India
Story collection
 
Drown
Junot Díaz
United States
Story collection
 
CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
George Saunders
United States
Story collection
1997
The Philip K. Dick Reader
Philip K. Dick
United States
Story collection
1999
Interpreter of Maladies
Jhumpa Lahiri
United States
Story collection
2001
Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage
Alice Munro
Canada
Story collection
including Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage; The Bear Came Over the Mountain; and others
2002
Stories of Your Life and Others
Ted Chiang
United States
Story collection
2003
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere
ZZ Packer
United States
Story collection
2004
Runaway
Alicde Munro
Canada
Story collection
2006
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman
Haruki Murakami
Japan
Story collection
2008
Unaccustomed Earth
Jhumpa Lahiri
United States
Story collection
2009
The Thing Around Your Neck
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Nigeria
Story collection
2013
Tenth of December
George Saunders
United States
Story collection
2017
Her Body and Other Parties
Carmen Maria Machado
United States
Story collection