The Story of the Week staff is enjoying a brief holiday respite, so we present—in case you missed any of them—the ten most-read (based on traffic during the two weeks after the story was posted on the site) stories from the past year.
#1. David B. Bittan, “Ordeal in Levittown”
In August 1957 William and Daisy Myers moved into their new home. They little imagined what would greet them.
#2. Robert Frost, “The Death of the Hired Man”
Mary and her husband Warren discuss what to do about the aged laborer who has returned, uninvited, to their farm.
#3. Shirley Jackson, “Biography of a Story”
Within days after the publication of “The Lottery,” both the author and the editors of the magazine that published it received a barrage of baffled and angry letters.
#4. Edgar Allan Poe, “Never Bet the Devil Your Head”
Toby Damitt, a vulgar and foolish man given to swearing and other vices, tests fate with a seemingly safe bet.
#5. Julian Hawthorne, “Absolute Evil”
In this Gothic tale by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s son, two women and a young child defend themselves from a mysterious threat.
#6. Kate Chopin, “A Pair of Silk Stockings”
With an unexpected windfall of fifteen dollars, the frugal Mrs. Sommers heads out shopping to buy necessities for her children.
#7. Eudora Welty, “A Curtain of Green”
A grief-ridden widow isolates herself from society and, with the help of a young neighbor, obsessively works in her garden.
#8. Willa Cather, “The Enchanted Bluff”
As the end of summer approaches, a group of high school friends head out for one last camping trip before they have to return to school.
#9. Mark Twain, “My First Lie and How I Got Out of It”
The editors of the New York World ask Twain about his first lie, and he responds with a confession or two in an essay on the nature of lying itself.
#10. Ursula K. Le Guin, “Imaginary Countries”
As the adults in the Egideskar family close up the summer home, the children continue playing in the imaginary worlds they have created.