The best story you have ever read is not necessarily long. It can be just a short novel but reading t will turn your entire world upside down and make you remember it forever. Some time ago I did not pay any attention to short stories at all as I considered that it is impossible to develop a plot and fill the narration with deep sense and emotions using only a few pages of text. But the following short stories have changed my opinion once and for all.
“The Letter from an Unknown Woman” written by an Austrian writer Stefan Zweig has become real revelation for me. It is the story of love which has almost unbearable power and lasts for the whole life of the main heroine. She felt in love with a handsome writer in her childhood, then met him when she was eighteen, but he did not recognize her. She gave birth to their child without the writer knowing about it. The woman has to find sponsors among rich men to give her child a good living. She describes all her life and love in the letter to the writer which he receives only after the death of the woman and her child. This story is a true hymn of unrequited pure love which causes a whirlwind of emotions.
Another master of short stories I want to n mention is O. Henry. He managed to comprise the whole universe of life, death, love and humor in a few pages of the narration. My favorite work by O. Henry is “The Last Leaf”. This story is about the sacrificing in love. The main heroine is seriously ill and her only entertainment is to watch leaves falling from the tree. She decides that when the last leaf will fall she would die. However, a painter who is in love with her climbs the tree at night and fastens an artificial leaf to the branch. The girl receives hope and gets well soon while the painter dies from simple cold he has caught during that night.
“The Nightingale and the Rose” by Oscar Wilde is another example of a well developed short story. The genre is defined as a fairy-tale, but still the story covers the most important issues of life – love, devotion and sacrifice. This short narration tells us about the student who needs a red rose to win a pretty girl’s love. The nightingale sees the student in despair and sacrifices his life to give him the desired rose, but still the boy’s love is rejected and he throws the rose in the mud. You have hardly read anything shorter and more powerful about compassion and sacrifice than this fairy-tale.