I wrote this for The Guardian (US).
How exactly a one-sitting novella is defined depends upon an individual’s reading speed. Broad definitions have the novella as a work of anything between 15,000 and 40,000 words. In fact, many of the most widely read (and taught) literary works qualify as one-sitting reads. A Christmas Carol, Call Of The Wild, Heart Of Darkness, The Great Gatsby, Of Mice and Men, Animal Farm, A Clockwork Orange – all could be technically considered novellas. Other key works – Melville’s Bartleby, the Scrivener, for example – are deemed short stories….