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The 111 Greatest Novellas

The Greatest Novellas of All Time list is based on the continuing research carried out for The Greatest Literature of All Time, although it includes much more than the novellas listed there.

No consensus exists as to what constitutes a novella, except for it being shorter than the usual novel and longer than the usual story. For this list we are defining the novella as a prose narrative of 17,500 to 40,000 words.

This list encompasses novellas ranging across all genres, cultures and periods. As with all our lists, it is regularly updated.

Last update: May 23, 2024

1516
Utopia
Thomas More
England, novella
1554
Lazarillo de Tormes
Anonymous
Spain, novella
1678
La Princesse de Clèves
Madame de La Fayette
France, novella
1688
missing graphic
Oroonoko
Aphra Behn
England, novella
1759
Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia
Samuel Johnson
England, novella
 
Candide
Voltaire
France, novella
1764
missing graphic
The Castle of Otranto
Horace Walpole
England, novella
1800
Castle Rackrent
Maria Edgeworth
Ireland, novella
1811
Michael Kohlhaas
Heinrich von Kleist
Germany, novella
1818
Nightmare Abbey
Thomas Love Peacock
England, novel
1842
The Jews' Beech Tree
Annette Droste-Hülshoff
Germany, novella
1843
missing graphic
A Christmas Carol
England, novella
1845
Carmen
Prosper Mérimée
France, novella
1849–1851
Theodor Storm
Germany, novella
1855
Benito Cereno
Herman Melville
United States, novella
1860
First Love
Ivan Turgenev
Russia, novella
1864
Notes From Underground
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Russia, novella
1865
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll
England, novella
1866
The Gambler
Fyodor Dosyoyevsky
Russia, novella
1870
King Lear of the Steppes
Ivan Turgenev
Russia, novella
 
Venus in Furs
Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
Germany, novella
1871
Through the Looking-Glass
Lewis Carroll
England, novella
1873
The Enchanted Wanderer
Nikolai Leskov
Russia, novella
1879
Daisy Miller
Henry James
England, novella
1886
The Death of Ivan Ilyich
Leo Tolstoy
Russia, novella
1889
The Kreutzer Sonata
Leo Tolstoy
Russia, novella
1891
The Duel
Anton Chekhov
Russia, novel
1895
The Time Machine
H.G. Wells
England, novella
1898
The Turn of the Screw
Henry James
United States, novella
1900
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
L. Frank Baum
United States, novella

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1902
England, novella
 
The Tale of Peter Rabbit
Beatrix Potteer
England, novella
 
The Imooralist
André Gide
France, novella
1903
The Beast in the Jungle
Henry James
United States, novella
 
The Call of the Wild
Jack London
United States, novella
1907
Algernon Blackwood
England, novella
1908
Tendrils of the Vine
Colette
France, novella
 
The Seven Who Were Hanged
Leonid Andreyev
Russia, novella
1911
Ethan Frome
Edith Wharton
United States, novella
1912
Death in Venice
Germany, novella
1916
The Metamorphosis
Franz Kafka
Bohemia, novella
c. 1919
China, novella
1922
Siddhartha
Herman Hesse
Switzerland, novella
1924
Heart of a Dog
Mikhail Bulgakov
Russia, novella
1925
The Shopgirl
Steve Martin
United States, novella
 
The Bridge of San Luis Rey
Thornton Wilder
United States, novella
1928
The Machine Stops
E.M. Forster
England, novella
 
Story of the Eye
Georges Bataille
France, novella
1929
Passing
Nella Larsen
United States, novella
1933
A Day Off
Storm Jameson
England, novella
 
Miss Lonelyhearts
Nathanael West
United States, novella
1934
United States, novella
1936
The Shadow Over Innsmouth
H.P. Lovecraft
United States, novella
1937
United States, novella
1938
Who Goes There?
John W. Campbell
United States, novella
 
Anthem
Ayn Rand
United States, novella
1941
The Royal Game
StefanZweig
Austria, novella
 
The Wife of Martin Guerre
Janet Lewisa
United States, novella
1942
The Outsider
Albert Camus
Algeria, novella
1943
The Little Prince
France, novella
 
Double Indemnity
United States, novella
1945
Animal Farm
England, novella
 
Pippi Longstocking
Astrid Lindgren
Sweden, novella
1949
The Third Man
Graham Greene
England, novella
1950
The Abbot C
Georges Bataille
France, novella
 
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
C.S. Lewis
England, novella
1951
The Ballad of the Sad Café
Carson McCullers
United States, novella
1952
The Old Man and the Sea
United States, novella
 
Baby Is Three
Theodore Sturgeon
United States, novella
1954
Bonjour Tristesse
Francoise Sagan
France, novella
 
Richard Matheson
United States, novella
 
With Folded Hands
JackWilliamson
United States, novella
1955
Pedro Paramo
Juan Rulfo
Mexico, novella
1956
The Fall
Albert Camus
Algeria, novella
 
Seize the Day
Saul Bellow
United States, novella
1957
The Blue of Noon
Georges Bataille
France, novella
1958
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Truman Capote
United States, novella
 
Clifford D. Simak
United States, novella
1959
Goodbye, Columbus
Philip Roth
United States, novella
1961
No One Writes to the Colonel
Gabriel García Márquez
Colombia, novella
 
Cat and Mouse
Günter Grass
Germany, novella
1962
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Russia, novella
1963
Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters
United States, novella
 
Seymour: An Introduction
United States, novella
1966
The Crying of Lot 49
Thomas Pynchon
United States, novella
1968
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
United States, novella
1970
Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Richard Bach
United States, novella
1972
The Summer Book
Tove Jansson
Finland, novella
 
Invisible Cities
Italo Calvino
Italy, novella
1974
The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum
Heinrich Böll
Germany, novella
1976
A River Runs Through It
Norman Maclean
United States, novella
1978
The Bookshop
Penelope Fitzgerald
England, novella
 
The Persistence of Vision
John Varley
United States, novella
1979
Lust, Caution
Eileen Chang
China, novella
1981
Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Gabriel García Márquez
Colombia, novella
1982
The Body
Stephen King
United States, novella
 
Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption
Stephen King
United States, novella
1984
The Lover
Marguerite Duras
France, novella
 
The House on Mango Street
Sandra Cisneros
United States, novella
1987
The Pigeon
Patrick Süskind
Germany, novella
1993
The Invention of Curried Sausage
Uwe Timm
Germany, novella
1997
Closely Watched Trains
Bohumil Hrabal
Czechia, novella
2000
The Shopgirl
Steve Martin
United States, novella
2002
Coraline
Neil Gaiman
England, novella
2006
The Inheritance of Loss
Kiran Desai
India, novella
2007
The Uncommon Reader
Alan Bennett
England, novella
2011
The Sense of an Ending
Julian Barnes
England, novella
2015
Ghachar Ghocahr
Vivek Shanbhag
India, novella
 
Binti
Nnedi Okorafor
India, novella
2017
All Systems Red
Martha Wells
United States, novella

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