The Girl in the Flammable Skirt: Stories
Sure, the writing is fine and it even sparkles on occasion. There are enough strange things happening to catch anyone's interest, at least momentarily. The problem is a lack of depth. Every single story felt superficial to me, as if it was...more
"Books are the mirrors of the soul."
Virginia Woolf, Between the Acts
take Revenge: Eleven Dark Tales by Yoko Ogawa, especially the writing style and slight drips of metaphysicalness, spirituality, and imagery, slather it with Haruki Murakami; but don't over do it. Add a dash of Karen Russell (when she is on her game).... and you have this book.
these stories, while completely, definitely grounded in their ownness, are somehow linked. The linking is personal, and grounds the read, or at least i
The stories in this book definitely had the somewhat half-baked "I've got this cool idea but it's not enough to turn into a novel" feel. But at the same time, most...more
I don't know if Aimee was on a Bender when she wrote this but this is one of the most off-the-wall books I've ever read, so naturally it appealed to me immensely. It's a collection of 16 rather zen-like short stories in a number of parts, but since I can't be discussing a woman's parts in a blog like this, those shall remain anonymous!
The Rememberer is a sto...more
anyway, bender writes short, perfectly structured surreal first-person stories. well, mostly first person. sometimes third. there's a story about a man who wakes up with a hole going directly through his stomach, and then his wife becomes pregnant and gives birth to her own mother. but it's firs...more
Vederla seduta nell'auditorium al Festivalletteratura di Mantova sembra che il tempo per lei si sia fermato. Oggi ne ha quarantatre.
E' una Signora -inizialmente l'avevo presa per una ragazzina- dal viso aperto, allegra, serena e si direbbe del nostro sud e invece l'accento tradisce la sua provenienza californiana. Ma sempre di sud si tratta.
Gesticola, sorride. Alla domanda: "Ma a lei come vengono in mente le situazioni dei suoi racc...more
This is the kind of book that makes you stay up all night reading under a tent of blankets with a flashlight and a bag of chocolate chips.
It feels like a guilty pleasure, yet there isn't much to feel guilty about.
Thoroughly realized prose and politically subversive themes--the collection is wildly creative, and delightfully naughty.
It feels like Roald Dahl mixed with Angela Carter with a bit of Margaret Atwood for the psycho-sci-fi-feel and Amy Tan for the family relationships.
I read the w...more
And so on and so forth. Every story has...more
Aimee Bender likes the gimmick. Most of the stories in this collection revolve around one surreal characteristic or occurrence that could never exist in the real world and attempts to build a story around...more
I'm also hoping I can teach Creative Writing again, so that I can suggest this collection to budding writers. I heard it: "Write what you know." I've spouted it ad nauseum with all good intentions. My students would write about rape, murder, and drugs...yes, they'd all, for the most part, had experienced these things tangentially; but there was always something real that was missing in their attempts. I could...more
Bender knows how to write concisely, even when the point of her story is imme...more
There were very strong stories mixed with "snappy, chic, in-your-face, over-the-top" stories that were about "pain" and "human ugliness" and such, but I saw a lot of flash and pop phrases in a forced surreal world. A woman giving birth to her mother. A librarian having sex with every man she sees out of grief. A woman in love with a man only because of his hunchback and leaves...more
In The Short Review interview, Aimee Bender was asked what the word “story” meant to her. Her answer: “A tough question! The feeling of holding onto a spar...more
Unless you're ok with sifting through this odd collection of freakshow characters, mundane settings and surreal plots to discover prose that cuts right through you and stories that leave you aching (usually...more