Jai Claire says the Best American Short Stories 2004 largely bores her.
They’re all very well done of course, but not only to they sound
extremely similar in overall ‘tradition’ to which they belong but none
of them have any POETRY in them. Of course all the sentences are smooth
and extremely competent but they don’t SING, or dazzle or have any true
rhythm. None of them are interested in capturing the cadences of the
characters, the cadence of the situation, the cadence of the story as
whole. They all read like sentences from essays. In fact, I have read
more journalism with a greater feel for rhythm and poetry than these
stories. It seems they writers are so concerned with delineating
character and drowning us in mainly skippable details that they forget
creation of atmosphere through words, that they forget to make their
story sing with a rhythm of its own.
She tells us which stories she liked and disliked here.