The Best American Short Stories 2004 by Katrina Kenison
(The Best American Series)

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See Reader Rating


Contemplating the appeal of the short story, Lorrie Moore writes in her introduction, "A story's very shortness ensures its largeness of accomplishment, its selfhood and purity. Having long lost its ability to pay an author's rent (in that golden blip between Henry James and television, F. Scott Fitzgerald, for one, wrote stories to fund his novels), the short story has been freed of its commercial life to become serious art, by virtually its every practitioner. As a result, short or long, a story lies less. It sings and informs and blurts. It has nothing to lose." The twenty stories in this year's volume sing to and inform the reader with honesty, intelligence, and often humor. Charles D'Ambrosio's story, "Screenwriter," explores romance in a mental hospital. In "Limestone Diner," Trudy Lewis lays bare one family's strained history in central Missouri. Angela Pneuman's hilarious "All Saints Day" gives readers a child's-eye view of religious fundamentalism. And in John Edgar Wideman's profound story, "What We Cannot Speak About We Must Pass Over in Silence," friendship leads to a meditation on freedom and fairness.
Lorrie Moore has selected twenty stories that rejoice in the absurdities of life, consider the hard truths, and arrive at potent moments of understanding. With The Best American Short Stories 2004 "Lorrie Moore has done writers and readers a great service," Katrina Kenison writes in her foreword, "for her own love of the form and keen sensibility have resulted in a volume that fairly hums with life."

About Katrina Kenison

See more books from this Author
Lorrie Moore was born Marie Lorena Moore on January 13, 1957 in Glen Falls, New York. She was nicknamed Lorrie by her parents. She attended St. Lawrence University and won Seventeen magazine's fiction contest. After graduation, she moved to Manhattan and worked as a paralegal for two years. In 1980 she enrolled in Cornell University's M.F.A. program. After graduation from Cornell she was encouraged by a teacher to contact an agent who sold her collection, Self-Help, which was composed of stories from her master's thesis. Lorrie Moore writes about failing relationships and terminal illness. She is the Delmore Schwartz Professor in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches creative writing. She has also taught at Cornell University. She has written a children's book entitled The Forgotten Helper. She won the 1998 O. Henry Award for her short story People Like That They Are the Only People Here. In 1999 she was given the Irish Times International Fiction Prize for Birds of America. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2006 and in 2010 her novel A Gate at the stairs was a finalist for the Pen/Faulkner Award for fiction. No Bio
Published October 14, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 496 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Reader Rating for The Best American Short Stories 2004

An aggregated and normalized score based on 15 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review