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Literary Forms and Genres: Short Story

Gitenstein Library resources: print and electronic

Dictionary of Literary Biography (DLB)

Need help choosing an author of short stories to research? In Literature Resource Center, perform an Advanced Search. Copy/paste the following into the first blank search box: "short story" OR "short stories". Choose Subject from the drop-down. Now click the blue Search button to execute your search. Click Biographies at the top of your results list. In the right-hand column, FILTER RESULTS by Publication Title. Finally, check the box next to the Dictionary of Literary Biography and Apply the filter.

If desired, filter results once more by Publication Title. Note the most relevant DLB volumes including:

  • American Short-Story Writ. Since World War II
  • British and Irish Short-Fiction Writers, 1945-2000
  • British Short-Fiction Writers [1800-1980]

Click here to see a list of printed DLB short story volumes, Reference Stacks, 1st floor (Gitenstein Library).

Humanities Librarian

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David C. Murray
TCNJ Library,
Room 216
Skype Contact: xpuhil


Use this guide to find scholarly books, journal articles, and reference works about the American and English short story. Also use this guide for help citing your sources in the MLA Style.

Questions? Use my contact information in the left-hand column (below) to schedule your research consultation.

Selected Titles

These reference works provide biographical essays about short story writers, authors' publishing histories, and/or bibliographies—often annotated—of primary (e.g., author interviews) and secondary sources.


Most up-to-date:

Also great:


A companion is a "a handbook intended to be used in connection with the study of a particular subject or field" (ODLIS). Companions provide introductory essays and topic overviews. I especially recommend titles in the Cambridge Companions to Literature series, several of which I have listed below.


An encyclopedia is "a book or numbered set of books containing authoritative summary information about a variety of topics in the form of short essays, usually arranged alphabetically by headword or classified in some manner. An entry may be signed or unsigned, with or without illustration or a list of references for further reading" (ibid.).


A handbook is a "single-volume reference book of compact size that provides concise factual information on a specific subject, organized systematically for quick and easy access" (ibid.).