A couple of weeks ago, a bookish meme surfaced on Facebook. It asked people who were tagged to list ten books that have affected or influenced them. It was inevitable for one of the Short Story Station contributors to get tagged; it was merely a matter of when. So when it did happen, instead of listing ten books, we listed ten short stories that have affected or influenced us in some way.
Sure, we didn’t follow the instructions of the meme, but some of the friends we tagged responded to the change that we did. It didn’t go us viral as we wanted to, but we were very happy with the results. It strengthened our belief that that the short story can be as powerful as the novel. It’s not that this belief is rather doubtful to require an affirmation. It just shows that a lot of people would, in their busy lives, stop by and read a story, a story that would tide over them and affect or influence them.
This is just a rough survey but it is interesting to review the results. The respondents are limited to our bookish and supportive Facebook friends and yet, we see variety. What more if the total number of respondents is twice, thrice? There are the contemporaries and the classics, the local and the international, the genre and the highbrow.
Enough. Here are the results.
Most Mentioned Short Stories
- A Temporary Matter by Jhumpa Lahiri
- The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe
- Everything Stuck to Him by Raymond Carver
- The Semplica-Girl Diaries by George Saunders
- Sexy by Jhumpa Lahiri
- What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver
- The Art of Understatement by Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo
- Escape from Spiderhead by George Saunders
- The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
- Murder Mysteries by Neil Gaiman
- A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner
- Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman
- The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
Most Mentioned Authors
- Raymond Carver
- George Saunders
- Jhumpa Lahiri
- Edgar Allan Poe
- Neil Gaiman
- Alice Munro
- Ray Bradbury
- Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo
- Eliza Victoria
- Gabriel Garcia Marquez
- Junot Diaz
- Kazuo Ishiguro
- Kurt Vonnegut
- Lorrie Moore
- Margaret Atwood
- O. Henry
- Roald Dahl
- Vladimir Nabokov
- William Faulkner
Note: Multiple mentions from a single participant are counted as one.
Thanks to all the respondents, namely Aaron, Alexa, Angus, Anna, Beejay, Bennard, JL, Lynai, Mae, Monique, Ramon, Rhena, Tin, Tina, and Ycel.