Short Story Cycles, Linked Stories, Novels-in-Stories: A Brief Bibliography

By K.L. Cook 

Thematically Unified Cycles

  • John Updike. Trust Me.
  • Russell Banks.  Success Stories.
  • Joyce Carol Oates.  Faithless: Tales of Transgression.
  • Antonya Nelson.  Female Trouble. 
  • Hannah Tinti.  Animal Crackers.
  • Joan Silber.  Ideas of Heaven.

Cycles Unified by Subgenre or Form

  • Robert Olen Butler.  Tabloid Dreams.
  • Daniel Stern.  Twice Told Tales.
  • Joyce Carol Oates.  The Assignation.
  • Italo Calvino.  Cosmicomics.
  • Lorrie Moore.  Self Help.

Historical Epoch/Era-Based Cycles

  • F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Tales of the Jazz Age.
  • Ernest Hemingway.  In Our Time.
  • Adam Braverman.  Mr. Lincoln’s Wars.
  • Kate Walbert.  Our Kind.

Place-Based Cycles

  • James Joyce.  Dubliners.
  • John Steinbeck. The Long Valley.
  • James Baldwin.  Going to Meet the Man.
  • John Updike.  Olinger Stories.
  • Edward P. Jones.  Lost in the City.

Culture- or Community-Based Cycles

  • Geoffrey Chaucer.  The Canterbury Tales.
  • Sherwood Anderson.  Winesburg, Ohio.
  • Russell Banks.  Trailerpark.
  • Gloria Naylor.  The Women of Brewster Place.
  • Garrison Keillor.  Lake Wobegon Days.
  • Robert Olen Butler.  A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain.
  • Crystal Wilkinson.  Water Street.
  • Tim O’Brien.  The Things They Carried.

Family-Centered Cycles

  • William Faulkner.  Go Down, Moses.
  • Louise Erdrich.  Love Medicine.
  • Anne Tyler.  Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant
  • Susan Minot.  Monkeys.
  • Cristina Garcia.  Dreaming in Cuban.
  • T. M. McNally.  Low Flying Aircraft.
  • K. L. Cook.  Last Call.

Central Protagonist/Couple-Centered Cycles

  • F. Scott Fitzgerald.  The Basil & Josephine Stories.
  • Ernest Hemingway.  The Nick Adams Stories.
  • John Updike.  Too Far to Go.  The Complete Henry Bech.
  • David Huddle.  Only the Little Bone.
  • Alice Munro.  The Beggar Maid: Stories of Rose and Flo.
  • Isabel Huggan.  The Elizabeth Stories.
  • Melissa Pritchard.  Disappearing Ingenue: The Misadventures of Eleanor Stoddard. .
  • Justin Cronin.  Mary and O’Neil.

Critical Studies about Story Cycles (Select)

  • James Nagel. The Contemporary American Short-Story Cycle: The Ethnic Resonance of Genre. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, (2001).
  • George R. Clay.  “Structuring the Short Story Novel.”  The Writer’s Chronicle (December 1998).  Vol. 31.3. 23-31.
  • Maggie Dunn and Ann Morris. The Composite Novel: The Short Story Cycle in Transition. Twayne’s Studies in Literary Themes and Genres. New York: Twayne, 1995.
  • Laura Morgan Green. “The Novel in Stories.” Poets & Writers. July/Aug. 2001: 16-19.
  •  J. Gerald Kennedy, ed.  Modern American Short Story Sequences.  Cambridge University Press, 1995.
  • Susan Garland Mann.  The Short Story Cycle: A Genre Companion & Reference Guide.Greenwood Press. Westport, Conn. 1988.


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