William Faulkner might not be the first author that comes to mind when thinking about short stories, but this is the short story that made me fall in love with short stories. Miss Emily Grierson lives (of course) in Jefferson, and is under mounting pressure to find a husband. After an engagement is called off, Miss Grierson becomes more reclusive, dismisses her staff and closes off half of her house. Her strange behaviour becomes part of the town’s fabric, and it’s only after her death that her strangeness is revealed for what it truly is.
First published in The Forum, April 1930. Collected in the Collected Stories, Vintage, 2009