Profile: Frank Stockton

Frank Stockton (1854 - 1902) was an American writer and humorist, best known for his allegorical fairy tales for all ages. Rather than moralizing, he tended to poke fun at qualities like greed, violence, and abuse of power.
Stockton was raised in Philadelphia, son of a minister who discouraged the young Stockton's writing career (this explains his later tendency to avoid telling overt morality tales). He moved to New Jersey, became an accomplished wood engraver, before beginning his writing career after his father's death. He moved back to Philadelphia to write stories for his brother's newspaper, and published his first fairy tale, Ting-a-ling (1867) in The Riverside Magazine. Stockton's first collection of short stories was published in 1870.

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NoteStreams By Frank Stockton

The Lady, or the Tiger?

The Lady, or the Tiger? is one of our favorite tales. It was first published in the magazine The Century in 1882, and firmly established the subtle art of the short story.
This story's title has since been adopted as a form of shorthand for "an unsolvable problem".

Category: Short Stories

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The Discourager of Hesitancy

The Discourager of Hesitancy (1885) is the dramatic sequel to Stockton's popular story, The Lady, or the Tiger? Read on to see whether you'll learn which door he chose.

Category: Short Stories

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