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The Girl in the Flammable Skirt

Stories

Bender, Aimee

(Book - 1999)
Average Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
The Girl in the Flammable Skirt
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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.
Publisher: New York : Anchor Books, 1999
Edition: 1st Anchor Books ed
ISBN: 9780385492164
0385492162
Branch Call Number: FICTION BENDER
Characteristics: 184 p. ;,22 cm

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"The everyday people, objects and occurrences in this collection of short stories somehow acquire the bizarre, the grotesque, and the darkly satirical." -Library Journal


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Aug 04, 2012
  • ksoles rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Aimee Bender's stories certainly contain a surreal touch; her first collection reads like a series of quick dreams ranging from disturbing to funny and entirely disregarding the laws of reality.

None of Bender's characters appear whole. Her cast includes an imp, a mermaid, a man with a soccer-ball sized hole in his stomach, a girl with a hand made of fire and another with one made of ice. Even those who seem realistically human carry deep voids, such as a librarian who fulfills the fantasies of several male patrons until she meets one whose extraordinary feats of strength finally exposes her emotional pain. In a line that applies to all the stories, the librarian acknowledges that "it's hard to tell the difference between fantasy and reality."

These odd, rambunctious, and startling stories won't please the literal-minded but they will charm those who like their short fiction with an irreverent edge.

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