Great Writers in Small Doses: The Short Story

Great Writers in Small Doses: The Short Story

Brought to you by Odyssey
October 18, 2021 - November 22, 2021 
Monday, 6:30 PM ET (12 course hours) 

Anyone who believes that short stories differ from novels only in length has never read a great short story.  During the past 12 years, this course has remained extremely popular, with many of the same great authors, but different stories.  In this fall’s course, we will enjoy works by Anton Chekhov, Guy de Maupassant, Kate Chopin, D.H. Lawrence, Edgar Allen Poe, James Joyce, O’ Henry, Katherine Mansfield, Mark Twain and others.  Discussions will focus on character, plot, theme, setting, and atmosphere as well as historical/cultural contexts, but, above all, on artistry. 

Session 1 10/18/21 

Introduction: Ingredients in a Short Story.  “Last Train to Rosemont” by Susan Richards Shreve (to be given out online). 

“Appointment in Samarra” by Somerset Maugham (to be given out online) 

“Squire Patrick’s Lady” by Thomas Hardy 

Theme: Irony 

Session 2 10.25/21 

“A Malefactor” by Anton Chekhov, “The Broken Boot” by John Galsworthy,

“The Necklace” by Guy De Maupassant 

Theme: Class Differences 

Session 3 11/1/21 

”Desiree’s Baby” by Kate Chopin                  

“Second Best” by D.H. Lawrence  

“The Masque of the Red Death” by E.A. Poe 

 Theme: Arrogance and Hypocrisy 

Session 4 11/8/21  

“A Pair of Silk Stockings” by Kate Chopin

“Eveline” by James Joyce 

“Gooseberries” by Anton Chekhov   

Theme: A Life of Dreams 

Session 5 11/15/21                                 

“Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne   

“The Selfish Giant” by Oscar Wilde 

“The Gift of the Magi” by O’ Henry 

Theme: Religious Symbolism 

Session 6 11/22/21                                                  

“The Lightening Rod Man” by Herman Melville 

“The Notorious Jumping Frog” by Mark Twain 

“Germans at Meat” by Katherine Mansfield        

Theme: Humor and Gullibility

Supplemental Materials

Text: 100 Great Short Stories, James Daley, editor, Dover Thrift Edition OR in other collections you may already own OR online and you can print them out.  

About the Instructor

Lynne Agress headshot








Lynne Agress, PhD., has taught at Johns Hopkins University, Smith, and Goucher Colleges, and the University of Maryland.  She was president of BWB-Business and Legal Writing, Inc. and still conducts writing and editing workshops for companies.  She is the author of THE FEMININE IRONY and WORKING WITH WORDS,  as well as numerous articles in magazines and newspapers.  For the past 10 years, she has been writing opinion pieces for THE BALTIMORE SUN.

Tuition Remission and Refund Policies

Full-time JHU faculty/staff, their spouses or same-sex domestic partners, JHU retirees and their spouses or same-sex domestic partners are eligible for tuition remission. The tuition remission form is required. All tuition remission forms and details on eligibility can be found here and should be returned to 

After registration, tuition remission eligibility will be confirmed by the Odyssey registrar. If eligibility cannot be confirmed, you will be required to pay full tuition for the course. Under the terms of the University’s remission program, Hopkins employees must withdraw in writing at least five working days before the first class to receive a 100% refund. No partial refunds are given to JHU employees and affiliates.  

Please visit the registration and policies page for more information. 

While participating in on-campus events and meetings, participants must follow all public health guidelines required by Johns Hopkins University and Medicine at the time of the event. If you are not fully vaccinated, we require that you wear a face covering during your visit to campus, even when it is no longer required for those who are vaccinated.  

While participating in off-campus events and meetings sponsored by the JHAA/JHM/JHHS participants must follow all public health guidelines mandated by the local jurisdiction and venue at the time of the event, including vaccination and masking and distancing guidance. Johns Hopkins strongly suggests that attendees who join in person be fully vaccinated. 

 Event Date
Monday, October 18, 2021
Start Time: 6:30pm EST


Virtual via Zoom
Baltimore , MD 21218