THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES 1991 by Katrina  Kenison

THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES 1991

KIRKUS REVIEW

Adams has chosen an oddly weak clutch of exemplars, though there are exceptions. Alice Munro's "Friend of My Youth"--a story that tells about a teller telling a tale, managing astoundingly to align both perfectly--once more reminds us that Munro is the living master of the form. Deborah Eisenberg, with "The Custodian," suggests an heir apparent: a subtle and gossamer story that in cumulative effect becomes a vicious entrapment: brilliant. Charles Baxter's Detroit story, "The Disappeared," compels. Mary Gordon's "Separation" is a sere piece of pity. But then the drop-off starts. Millicent Dillon's "Oil and Water" and Robert Olen Butler's "The Trip Back" are interesting but unsurely executed. Middling John Updike and Lorrie Moore stories don't make much of a mark. And, finally, there are stories by Rick Bass, Charles D'Ambrosio, Jr., Elizabeth Graver, Siri Hustvedt, David Jauss, and Amy Bloom that strut the workshop style--flat, self-involved shadowboxing--disspiritingly. As buffets go: eh.
Pub Date: Nov. 11th, 1991
ISBN: 0395544092
Page count: 452pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 1991




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