New Release Books by Aimee Bender

Aimee Bender is the author of The Butterfly Lampshade (2021), Cutting Edge (2019), Dreaming in Polish (2015), The Color Master (2013) and other 11 books.

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15 results found

The Butterfly Lampshade

release date: Jun 08, 2021
The Butterfly Lampshade
"On the night her single mother is taken to a mental hospital after a psychotic episode, eight year-old Francie is staying with her babysitter, waiting to take the train to Los Angeles to go live with her aunt and uncle. There is a lovely lamp next to the couch on which she''s sleeping, the shade adorned with butterflies. When she wakes, Francie spies a dead butterfly, exactly matching the ones on the lamp, floating in a glass of water. She drinks it before the babysitter can see. Twenty years later, Francie is compelled to make sense of that moment, and two other incidents - her discovery of a desiccated beetle from a school paper, and a bouquet of dried roses from some curtains. Her recall is exact - she is sure these things happened. But despite her certainty, she wrestles with the hold these memories maintain over her, and what they say about her own place in the world. As Francie conjures her past, and reduces her engagement with the world to a bare minimum, she begins to question her relationship to reality. The scenes set in Francie''s past glow with the intensity of childhood perception, how physical objects can take on an otherworldly power. The question for Francie is, what do these events signify? And does this power survive childhood? Told in the lush, lilting prose that led The San Francisco Chronicle to say Aimee Bender is "a writer who makes you grateful for the very existence of language," THE BUTTERFLY LAMPSHADE is a heartfelt and heartbreaking examination of the sometimes overwhelming power of the material world, and a broken love between mother and child"--

Cutting Edge

release date: Nov 05, 2019
Cutting Edge
A chilling noir collection featuring fifteen crime and mystery tales and six poems from female authors. Joyce Carol Oates, a queen-pin of the noir genre, has brought her keen and discerning eye to the curation of an outstanding anthology of brand-new top-shelf short stories (and poems by Margaret Atwood!). While bad men are not always the victims in these tales, they get their due often enough to satisfy readers who are sick and tired of the gendered status quo, or who just want to have a little bit of fun at the expense of a crumbling patriarchal society. This stylistically diverse collection will make you squirm in your seat, stay up at night, laugh out loud, and inevitably wish for more. With stories by: Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood (poems), Valerie Martin, Aimee Bender, Edwidge Danticat, Sheila Kohler, S.A. Solomon, S.J. Rozan, Lucy Taylor, Cassandra Khaw, Bernice L. McFadden, Jennifer Morales, Elizabeth McCracken, Livia Llewellyn, Lisa Lim, and Steph Cha. Praise for Cutting Edge “The indefatigable Joyce Carol Oates gathers a strong list of names . . . . Emerging and established authors provide attention-grabbing short works: especially notable are Edwidge Danticat''s story on the quotidian horror of domestic violence, Bernice L. McFadden’s comic take on the appropriation of racial friendship, and Lisa Lim’s illustrations of a grotesque marriage.” —Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine “But of course, in the end, it isn''t the themes or the innovations on the format of the short story anthology that make the tales collected in Cutting Edge most “feel” as if you were reading Joyce Carol Oates herself. It is the writing. The tight plots and fresh, flowing prose that go about their business until—snap!—the story’s well-oiled mousetrap does its job.” —New York Journal of Books “The 15 stories and six poems in this slim yet weighty all-original noir anthology . . . are razor-sharp and relentless in their portrayal of life, offering snapshots of dysfunction, everyday toil, and brief joy. It is unusual, however, in its scope, zeroing in not only on what the female characters endure but what they dish out . . . . Each story sears but does not cauterize, leaving protagonists and readers raw . . . . Fans of contemporary crime fiction won’t want to miss this one.” —Publishers Weekly

Dreaming in Polish

release date: May 22, 2015
Dreaming in Polish
A Vintage Shorts “Short Story Month” Selection The old man and the old woman always dreamed the same dreams. Everyone in Celia’s town knows the couple, married sixty years, with wrinkled skin down to their wrists—but one summer, while Celia takes care of her father, refusing to join her mother on the next leg of their concentration camp museum tour, the old man and the old woman start prophesying, and the town is forever changed. “Dreaming in Polish” invites the reader to look at the world through Aimee Bender’s unique funhouse vision, a world twisted on its axis yet as gloriously tangible as real life. A selection from her debut collection The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, hailed by the New York Times and Los Angeles Times as one of the best books of the year. An eBook short.

The Color Master

release date: Aug 13, 2013
The Color Master
The bestselling author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake returns with a wondrous collection of dreamy, strange, and magical stories. Truly beloved by readers and critics alike, Aimee Bender has become known as something of an enchantress whose lush prose is “moving, fanciful, and gorgeously strange” (People), “richly imagined and bittersweet” (Vanity Fair), and “full of provocative ideas” (The Boston Globe). In her deft hands, “relationships and mundane activities take on mythic qualities” (The Wall Street Journal). In this collection, Bender’s unique talents sparkle brilliantly in stories about people searching for connection through love, sex, and family—while navigating the often painful realities of their lives. A traumatic event unfolds when a girl with flowing hair of golden wheat appears in an apple orchard, where a group of people await her. A woman plays out a prostitution fantasy with her husband and finds she cannot go back to her old sex life. An ugly woman marries an ogre and struggles to decide if she should stay with him after he mistakenly eats their children. Two sisters travel deep into Malaysia, where one learns the art of mending tigers who have been ripped to shreds. In these deeply resonant stories—evocative, funny, beautiful, and sad—we see ourselves reflected as if in a funhouse mirror. Aimee Bender has once again proven herself to be among the most imaginative, exciting, and intelligent writers of our time.

Willful Creatures

release date: Jan 01, 2013
Willful Creatures
A collection of all original stories presents tales of love, heartbreak, sex, adversity, and potato babies. --Publisher.

An Invisible Sign of My Own

release date: Aug 17, 2011
An Invisible Sign of My Own
Aimee Bender’s stunning debut collection, The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, proved her to be one of the freshest voices in American fiction. Now, in her first novel, she builds on that early promise. Mona Gray was ten when her father contracted a mysterious illness and she became a quitter, abandoning each of her talents just as pleasure became intense. The only thing she can’t stop doing is math: She knocks on wood, adds her steps, and multiplies people in the park against one another. When Mona begins teaching math to second-graders, she finds a ready audience. But the difficult and wonderful facts of life keep intruding. She finds herself drawn to the new science teacher, who has an unnerving way of seeing through her intricately built façade. Bender brilliantly directs her characters, giving them unexpected emotional depth and setting them in a calamitous world, both fancifully surreal and startlingly familiar. BONUS MATERIAL: This edition includes an excerpt from Aimee Bender''s The Color Master.

The Girl in the Flammable Skirt

release date: Aug 10, 2011
The Girl in the Flammable Skirt
"A collection of wistful, witty stories." --Esquire "Hilarious, deep and a little bit dirty." --Harper''s Bazaar A grief-stricken librarian decides to have sex with every man who enters her library. A half-mad, unbearably beautiful heiress follows a strange man home, seeking total sexual abandon: He only wants to watch game shows. A woman falls in love with a hunchback; when his deformity turns out to be a prosthesis, she leaves him. A wife whose husband has just returned from the war struggles with the heartrending question: Can she still love a man who has no lips? Aimee Bender''s stories portray a world twisted on its axis, a place of unconvention that resembles nothing so much as real life, in all its grotesque, beautiful glory. From the first line of each tale she lets us know she is telling a story, but the moral is never quite what we expect. Bender''s prose is glorious: musical and colloquial, inimitable and heartrending. Here are stories of men and women whose lives are shaped--and sometimes twisted--by the power of extraordinary desires, erotic and otherwise. The Girl in the Flammable Skirt is the debut of a major American writer. A 1998 New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Selected by the Los Angeles Times as one of the best works of fiction of 1998.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

release date: Jan 01, 2011
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
Discovering in childhood a supernatural ability to taste the emotions of others in their cooking, Rose Edelstein grows up to regard food as a curse when it reveals everyone''s secret realities. By the Pushcart-winning author of An Invisible Sign of My Own. Reprint. A best-selling book.

Electric Literature

release date: Jan 01, 2010
Electric Literature
In our third anthology, Aimee Bender introduces us to a young woman unable to summon the desire to sleep with her husband without payment in cash, Matt Sumell''s protagonist feels capable of anything but can save no one, Rick Moody charts the rise an fall of a romance via Twitter, Patrick deWitt presents a bleak, funny tale of two movers who are going nowhere, and Jenny Offill chronicles the awkward vigil of a man caring for his terminally ill ex-wife.

The Secret Society of Demolition Writers

release date: Dec 18, 2007
The Secret Society of Demolition Writers
What would you write if no one knew who you were? In the spirit of the demolition derby, where drivers take heedless risks with reckless abandon, welcome to the first convocation of the Secret Society of Demolition Writers. Here is a one-of-a-kind collection by famous authors writing anonymously–and dangerously. With the usual concerns about reputations and renown cast aside, these twelve daredevils have each contributed an extreme, no-holds-barred unsigned story, each shining as brightly and urgently as hazard lights. Unconventional and unapologetic, this publishing equivalent of a whodunit features an eclectic group of fictional characters, including a delusional schizophrenic narrator, an egg donor with second thoughts about her decision, a pharmacist who forms a weird crush on a woman who beat both of her parents to death, and a little girl who understands that an old safe is the threshold to another, ghostly, world. Equally diverse and surprising are the authors themselves: Aimee Bender, Benjamin Cheever, Michael Connelly, Sebastian Junger, Elizabeth McCracken, Rosie O’Donnell, Chris Offutt, Anna Quindlen, John Burnham Schwartz, Alice Sebold, Lauren Slater, and Marc Parent, the editor of the collection. Never before has such a wide-ranging and talented group of authors been assembled to such explosive and entertaining effect. The Secret Society of Demolition Writers is an intriguing puzzle in itself, but it’s also an important addition to the careers of some of our finest storytellers–even if we never really know who wrote what. Its boundary-smashing fiction offers exhilarating proof that for an artist, withholding your identity can mean gaining your freedom.

Lit Riffs

release date: Nov 01, 2007
Lit Riffs
Following in the footsteps of the late great Lester Bangs -- the most revered and irreverent of rock ''n'' roll critics -- twenty-four celebrated writers have penned stories inspired by great songs. Just as Bangs cast new light on a Rod Stewart classic with his story "Maggie May," about a wholly unexpected connection between an impressionable young man and an aging, alcoholic hooker, the diverse, electrifying stories here use songs as a springboard for a form dubbed the lit riff. Alongside Bangs''s classic work, you''ll find stories by J.T. LeRoy, who puts a recovering teenage drug abuser in a dentist''s chair with nothing but the Foo Fighters''s "Everlong" -- blaring through the P.A. -- to fight the pain; Jonathan Lethem, whose narrator looks back on his lost innocence just as an extramarital affair careens to an end -- this to the tune "Speeding Motorcycle" as recorded by Yo La Tengo; and Jennifer Belle, who envisions a prequel to Paul Simon''s "Graceland" -- one that takes place at a children''s birthday party replete with a real live kangaroo. With original contributions from Tom Perrotta, Nelson George, Amanda Davis, Lisa Tucker, Aimee Bender, Darin Strauss, and many more -- riffing on everyone from Tom Waits and Bruce Springsteen to the White Stripes, Cat Power, and Bob Marley -- this is both an astounding collection of short stories and an extraordinary experiment in words and music. Soundtrack available from Saturation Acres Music & Recording Co.

Tin House

release date: Sep 01, 2007
Tin House
The literary magazine people are talking about

The Writer's Notebook

release date: Jan 01, 2009
The Writer's Notebook
An anthology of essays collects top-selected works from Tin House''s Summer Writers Workshops and offers insight into writing strategies for a wide range of disciplines, in an anecdotal volume that includes pieces by such names as Jim Shepard, Aimee Bender, and D. A. Powell. Original.

Oneness Plus One

release date: Jan 01, 2016

The Third Elevator

release date: Jan 01, 2012
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