Susan Glaspell Short Stories

Susan Glaspell Short Stories
Susan Glaspell Short Stories

Susan Glaspell was a writer best known for her plays, particularly Alison’s House for which she was awarded the 1931 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the very popular Trifles, which is the same story as the often anthologized “A Jury of Her Peers”. Glaspell wrote many short stories and, if you only know “A Jury of Her Peers”, as I did, I think you’re in for a pleasant surprise. As you read some of her other stories, you might join me in wondering why they don’t show up in anthologies as well.

Susan Glaspell Short Stories

“A Jury of Her Peers”

A farmer in Dixon County is found murdered in his home. His wife is the primary suspect and she is taken into custody. While the authorities investigate the scene, two of the men’s wives collect a few items for the accused.

This story can be read in the preview of A Moment on the Edge: 100 Years of Crime Stories by Women.

“The Tragedy of a Mind”

An elderly professor is alone after dismissing a class. His daughter, Edith, arrives to walk home with him as she always does. She notices he looks tired. He is and his head is bothering him a bit too. He has to stop into the library for a minute before going home. As he finds the book he’s looking for, he hears two of his favorite students talking on the other side of the partition.

This story can be read in the sample of The Rules of the Institution and Other Stories (17% in).

“An Unprofessional Crime”

Some reporters are sitting around relaxing and telling stories. They prompt one of the admired veterans to tell  a story about the time he missed a big opportunity because he couldn’t stay detached from the situation. It was about twenty years ago on a beautiful Christmas Eve. While heading into the office, a boy ran into him and claimed there was a dead man in the alley. He checked it out and found it was Jim Connor, a brakeman, who had just come out of the saloon.

This story can also be read in the above sample of The Rules of the Institution and Other Stories (35% in).

“The Girl from Down-town”

At quitting time, Millie hurries out of the big store where she tends the handkerchief counter. She’s happy because she’s headed for her new place, a room she rented yesterday. It’s by the university and the lake. She likes the buildings and the girls she’s seen around there. The room will also have a view, unlike her old place, and will be much more pleasant.

This story can also be read in the above sample of The Rules of the Institution and Other Stories (58% in).

“The Last Sixty Minutes”

The clock strikes eleven as Governor John Morrison sits in his office. In exactly one hour his term ends and the newly elected Leyman will take his place. Governor Morrison, an old man now, thinks about his time in office, especially how everyone knows he’s merely been a figurehead. The real power has always been with Harvey Francis. He thinks of his idealism as a young man and how little he’s accomplished.

Read “The Last Sixty Minutes”

“The Anarchist: His Dog”

A young boy, Stubby, does his paper route every morning. Stubby has adopted a rough manner, but he’s lonely and would really like a dog. One day a stray shows up on his route and Stubby takes him home. They become close and everything is working out fine until Stubby hears about a threat to his new dog on the first of August. A dog tax will be due and the family is too poor to spare any money.

Read “The Anarchist: His Dog”

“From A to Z”

Miss Willard has finished university and started work at a Chicago publishing house. She’s always imagined a position like this in a dignified and beautiful place with cultivated gentlemen. She’s disappointed that this position doesn’t meet her expectations. It’s a small, dusty, penned-off section of a floor next to Dr. Bunting’s Kidney and Bladder Cure. Mr. Littletree explains that they’re writing a dictionary. Sitting next to her is Mr. Willard, who helps her understand the job and routine.

Read “From A to Z”

I’ll continue adding Susan Glaspell short stories as I read more.