Everything you need to understand or teach The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories by Tobias Wolff.
The narrator of "River of Names" is a lesbian woman who is trying to escape her past by making up a happy childhood when she talks to her girlfriend, Jessie. However, her past comes back to haunt her and the fake childhood she has invented seems to make the memories all the worse.
Walter is the protagonist of All the Way in Flagstaff, Arizona, though he is imperfect and an alcoholic. The reader sees him spending time with his family, on a picnic where they argue and play and do a lot of normal family things. However, the narration confirms strain between him and his wife and eventually, she leaves him, which deeply hurts and changes him as a man.
Nick is one of the main characters of...
The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories Lesson Plans contain 158 pages of teaching material, including: