A selection of stories from Stories of Ourselves Volume 2 is set for the Cambridge International A Level Literature in English syllabus. Arranged in chronological order, it is an anthology of short stories from the early part of the 19th century to the 21st century – the most recent story included was first published in 2014. All the stories are written in English, but the writers come from all over the world, giving readers a multiplicity of viewpoints. There are stories from places as diverse as England and Nigeria, the United States of America and India.
Fifteen of these stories are currently set for study and some initial guiding thoughts about them can be found by following the links below. These are not exhaustive interpretations, but commentaries designed to offer some insights and starting points for your own study.
Reading beyond those specifically set for study is strongly recommended – there are some fantastic stories here and wider reading is good practice for the Unseen section of Paper 2.
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Ambrose Bierce
The Melancholy Hussar of the German Legion Thomas Hardy
The Lady’s Maid’s Bell Edith Wharton
The Doll’s House Katherine Mansfield
A Warning to the Curious M.R. James
Death in the Woods Sherwood Anderson
The Black Ball Ralph Ellison
Stability Philip K Dick
The Tower Marghanita Laski
The Axe Penelope Fitzgerald
When It Happens Margaret Atwood
The Plantation Ovo Adagha
Haywards Heath Aminatta Forna
The Paper Menagerie Ken Liu