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Year 12 Literature: Imaginative Short Stories

Ursula Le Guin

Image source: Granta



Employing the same narrative techniques of experimentation and play that characterize her fiction, Ursula K. Le Guin has also created a substantial body of nonfiction. This article explores how her nonfiction continually challenges and questions the role of gender in literature and culture, but also in her own life as a woman writing.

High school teachers Simao J. A. Drew and Brenda G. Bosnic help familiarize students with gender role analysis and feminist theory. Students examine classic literature and contemporary texts, considering characters' historical, literary, and social contexts while expanding their understanding of how patterns of identity and gender norms exist and are perpetuated in current contexts.


Edgar Allan Poe

Image source: The Telegraph



  • Edgar Poe's Tradition - essay by Herbert Marshall McLuhan: “While the New England dons primly turned the pages of Plato and Buddha beside a tea-cozy, and while Browning and Tennyson were creating a parochial fog for the English mind to relax in, Poe never lost contact with the terrible pathos of his time. Coevally with Baudelaire, and long before Conrad and Eliot, he explored the heart of darkness.”
  • Evermore: the Enduring Influence of Edgar Allan Poe : Mystery Scene Mag: Stephen King: “He wasn’t just a mystery/suspense writer.  He was the first.”
  • The enigma of Edgar Allan Poe, The Times, 2008



Amy Witting

Image source: The Australian


Craven, Peter (2001)  "Tell that woman I'll publish any word she writes", The Sydney Morning Herald, 25 September 2001, p.35



  • Gold out of Straw: An introduction to the life and work of Amy Witting - Y. Miels, Flinders University

    Witting was born on 26 January 1918 in Annandale, an inner-city suburb of Sydney, a 'tough place' inhabited by many who were hard-up and still to face the crushing effects of the Great Depression. Witting claims that being brought up in such an environment has at least provided her with an inexhaustible subject-one that recurs throughout her prose and poetry-'survival', and often against the odds (Dowrick 1 58).
    ... In an interview with Peter Craven, Witting noted that beneath the sparkling facade of university life, world events were impinging, creating a disturbing undercurrent and deep uncertainties about the future.


Amy Witting was a master of the short story, the genre in which she felt ‘most at home’. Her subjects—childhood and school, marriage and loneliness, the cruelty of men and women—are rendered in a crisp, understated style, at once compassionate and unsentimental.(Text Publishing)

Annie Proulx

 Image source: Literary Hub


  • E. Annie Proux - Britannica Encyclopedia

    An American writer whose darkly comic yet sad fiction is peopled with quirky, memorable individuals and unconventional families. Proulx traveled widely, extensively researching physical backgrounds and locales. She frequently used regional speech patterns, surprising and scathing language, and unusual plot twists in her novels and short stories about disintegrating families who maintain attachments to the land.
  • The Murder of Matthew Shepard - Wyoming State Historical Society Project

    Proulx's short story "Brokeback Mountain," which contains a character who is killed in a Wyoming gay-bashing, was published in The New Yorker in 1997, almost exactly one year before the real-life murder of gay Wyoming man Matthew Shepard. Proulx, who lived close to where Shepard was beaten, was called to but not selected for jury duty for the trial of Shepard's murders. (IDMB - Annie Proulx Biography)


NOTE: Download the PDF Full Text for each short story to read it in its original format.

Based on Annie Proulx's 1994 Pulitzer Prize winning story The Shipping News.

Isabel Allende

Image source: Harvard Business Review



Audio Books via Wheelers


Ray Bradbury

Image source: National Council of Teachers of English

How do you judge your work?

"It's simple. When you read what you wrote and can be emotionally touched from that, if you can cry reading it, well, then you know you actually did a good job. I have cried many times reading my writings."
(Interview with Beatrice Cassina)



NOTE: Download the PDF Full Text for each short story to read it in its original format.

Audio Books via Wheelers