Higher Education

Perrine's Story and Structure, 12th Edition

  • Thomas R. Arp Southern Methodist University
  • Greg Johnson Kennesaw State University
  • ISBN-10: 1413033091  |  ISBN-13: 9781413033090
  • 688 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2006, 2002, 1998
  • © 2009 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $163.50
  • Newer Edition Available
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The fiction section from Laurence Perrine’s all-time bestselling introduction to literature, this concise, authoritative text provides a complete overview of the essential elements of fiction, along with a diverse selection of stories to illustrate them. This reliable, well-written classic has introduced thousands of students to the serious study of fiction, yet it remains vital and compelling for today’s readers, presenting the most important and engaging stories available in a single collection. The section on three featured writers, James Joyce, Flannery O’Connor, and Joyce Carol Oates, includes three stories by each author, as well as essays by noted critics on their works.

Features and Benefits

  • Known for its exemplary story selections, PERRINE’S STORY AND STRUCTURE is a straightforward, engaging, and well-written introduction to the serious study of fiction.
  • With a broad range of selections drawn from classic, modern, and contemporary literature, the text includes works by numerous authors writing on a variety of experiences likely to be relevant and compelling to students of all backgrounds and interests.
  • Eight chapters provide a concise but thorough and highly readable introduction to the key elements of fiction, including plot, character, theme, and point of view, as well as effective standards for judging the qualities of each.
  • A special in-depth section includes three stories by each of three authors, as well as several critical essays by the authors or analyzing their work. These examples help students to appreciate the range of both the authors’ works and critical responses to them.

Table of Contents

1. Reading the Story.
Reviewing Chapter One.
Richard Connell, The Most Dangerous Game.
Tobias Wolff, Hunters in the Snow.
Understanding and Evaluating Fiction.
Suggestions for Writing.
2. Plot and Structure.
Reviewing Chapter Two.
Graham Greene, The Destructors.
Alice Munro, How I Met My Husband.
Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies.
Suggestions for Writing.
3. Characterization.
Reviewing Chapter Three.
Alice Walker, Everyday Use.
Katherine Mansfield, Miss Brill.
Richard Wright, The Man Who Was Almost a Man.
Suggestions for Writing.
4. Theme.
Reviewing Chapter Four.
Tim Gautreaux, Welding with Children.
Anton Chekhov, The Darling. Translated by Constance Garnett.
Eudora Welty, A Worn Path.
Nadine Gordimer, Once upon a Time.
Suggestions for Writing.
5. Point of View.
Reviewing Chapter Five.
Willa Cather, Paul’s Case.
Shirley Jackson, The Lottery.
Katherine Anne Porter, The Jilting of Granny Weatherall.
Ernest Hemingway, Hills Like White Elephants.
Suggestions for Writing.
6. Symbol, Allegory, and Fantasy.
Reviewing Chapter Six.
D. H. Lawrence, The Rocking-Horse Winner.
Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown.
Ursula Le Guin, The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings.Translated by Gregory Rabassa.
Suggestions for Writing.
7. Humor and Irony.
Reviewing Chapter Seven.
Frank O’Connor, The Drunkard.
Margaret Atwood, Rape Fantasies.
Albert Camus, The Guest. Translated by Justin O’Brien.
Suggestions for Writing.
8. Evaluating Fiction.
Reviewing Chapter Eight.
Edith Wharton, Roman Fever.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, A New Leaf.
Suggestions for Writing.
James Joyce.
The Boarding House.
Critical Perspectives on Joyce.
Craig Hansen Werner, From Dubliners: A Pluralistic World.
J. S. Atherton, From “Araby.”
Clive Hart, From “Eveline.”
Fritz Senn, From “‘The Boarding House’ Seen as a Tale of Misdirection.”
Flannery O’Connor.
A Good Man Is Hard to Find.
Everything That Rises Must Converge.
Critical Perspectives on O’Connor.
Flannery O’Connor, “A Reasonable Use of the Unreasonable.”
Flannery O’Connor, “Letter to a Professor of English.”
Madison Jones, “A Good Man’s Predicament.”
Dorothy Walters, On “Everything That Rises Must Converge.”
Gilbert H. Muller, On “Greenleaf.”
Joyce Carol Oates.
Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?
Life After High School.
June Birthing.
Critical Perspectives on Oates.
Joyce Carol Oates, From “Stories That Define Me: The Making of a Writer.”
Joyce Carol Oates, From “Smooth Talk: Short Story into Film.”
Elaine Showalter, On “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”
Greg Johnson, On “Life After High School” and “June Birthing.”
Suggestions for Writing.
I. Why Write about Literature?
II. For Whom Do You Write?
III. Two Basic Approaches.
IV. Choosing a Topic.
V. Proving Your Point.
VI. Writing the Paper.
VII. Writing In-Class Essays or Essays Tests.
VIII. Introducing Quotations (Q1-Q10).
IX. Documentation.
X. Stance and Style (S1-S6).
XI. Grammar, Punctuation, and Usage: Common Problems.
XII. Writing Samples.
Chinua Achebe, Civil Peace.
John Cheever, The Swimmer.
Kate Chopin, The Story of an Hour.
William Faulkner, A Rose for Emily.
Susan Glaspell, A Jury of Her Peers.
Zora Neale Hurston, The Gilded Six-Bits.
Henry James, The Real Thing.
Herman Melville, Bartleby the Scrivener.
Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado.
John Updike, A & P.
Glossary of Terms.
Copyrights and Acknowledgments.
Index of Authors and Titles.

What's New

  • Part 2, an in-depth study of three well-known authors, now includes the popular and respected modern writer Joyce Carol Oates in addition to James Joyce and Flannery O’Connor.
  • Eleven contemporary stories have replaced older selections, expanding the range of included readings, enabling a broader geographical sampling, and providing greater appeal to a wider range of today’s students. This edition has added, for instance, classic stories by Henry James and by a major voice in African-American fiction, Richard Wright.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

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Instructor Supplements

InfoTrac® College Edition Printed Access Card  (ISBN-10: 0534558534 | ISBN-13: 9780534558536)

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Everyday Use by Alice Walker (DVD): Wadsworth Original Film Series in Literature  (ISBN-10: 1413006582 | ISBN-13: 9781413006582)

NOT AVAILABLE SEPARATELY, FOR BUNDLE PURCHASE ONLY. Available on DVD, these films can be packaged with new copies of the text at no additional cost to your students. Contact your sales representative to order. The DVD includes "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker with an exclusive interview with the author.

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InfoTrac® College Edition Printed Access Card  (ISBN-10: 0534558534 | ISBN-13: 9780534558536)

Save time, save money, and eliminate the trek to the library and long waits for reserved readings with InfoTrac® College Edition, an online university library of more than 5,000 academic and popular magazines, newspapers, and journals.

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Meet the Author

Author Bio

Thomas R. Arp

Thomas R. Arp received a B.A. in English from the University of Michigan (1954) and a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship to Stanford University. In 1955–1956, he produced educational television for the University of Michigan. He received an M.A. in 1960 and a Ph.D. in 1962 -- both from Stanford. He taught at Bowdoin College, Princeton University, University of California at Berkeley, Hull University (England), and Southern Methodist University. Macmillan published his volume THE FORM OF POETRY in 1966, and he received a Fulbright lectureship at University of Bucharest (Romania) in 1969–1970. Arp joined Laurence Perrine in preparing revised editions of SOUND AND SENSE, STORY AND STRUCTURE, and LITERATURE: STRUCTURE, SOUND, AND SENSE beginning in 1982. He became sole author of the books in 1997 and was joined by Greg Johnson in 2002. Dr. Arp passed away in 2015.

Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson received an M.A. in English from Southern Methodist University and a Ph.D. in English from Emory University. Dr. Johnson is the author of 12 books of fiction, poetry, criticism, and biography, including LAST ENCOUNTER WITH THE ENEMY (Johns Hopkins, 2004), WOMEN I'VE KNOWN: NEW AND SELECTED STORIES (Ontario Review, 2007), the novel STICKY KISSES (Alyson Books, 2001), and several books on Joyce Carol Oates, including INVISIBLE WRITER: A BIOGRAPHY OF JOYCE CAROL OATES (Dutton, 1998) and JOYCE CAROL OATES: CONVERSATIONS 1970–2006 (Ontario Review, 2006). He joined the author team of PERRINE'S LITERATURE in 2002 and has been the sole author since Thomas Arp's passing in 2015.