A novella is a written, fictional, prose narrative longer than a novelette but shorter than a novel. While there is disagreement as to what length defines a novella, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Nebula Awards for science fiction define the novella as having a word count between 17,500 and 40,000.

Although the novella is a common literary genre in several European languages, it is less common in English. English-speaking readers may be most familiar with the novellas of John Steinbeck, particularly "Of Mice and Men" and "The Pearl," Herman Melville's "Billy Budd," Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" and "In the Penal Colony," George Orwell's "Animal Farm," Truman Capote's "Breakfast at Tiffany's," Ernest Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea," Robert Louis Stevenson's "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," Thomas Mann's "Death in Venice," Philip Roth's "Goodbye, Columbus," and Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness."

Like the English word "novel", the English word "novella" is derived from the Italian word "novella" (plural: "novelle"), meaning "for a tale, a piece of news." As the etymology suggests, novellas originally were news of town and country life worth repeating for amusement and edification.

Adapted from Wikipedia.

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