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The Girl in the Flammable Skirt: Stories by…
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The Girl in the Flammable Skirt: Stories (1998)

by Aimee Bender

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6961813,671 (3.95)9
  1. 00
    Shopgirl by Steve Martin (starfishian)
    starfishian: Although The Girl in the Flammable Skirt is a lot more quirky, Shopgirl has a similar sense of modern alienation.
  2. 00
    St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell (Anonymous user)
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» See also 9 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
Short stories
  shazjhb | Dec 30, 2013 |
I tried, I really did. But when I read the review of short stories I didn't realize they were "literary" short stories that had been in publications with "Review" in the title. Ugh and they are so literary. Some were fine, some were weird and some were so weighted down by their own self importance. ( )
  akmargie | Apr 4, 2013 |
I think I liked this. I'm not sure. I think I liked it more as I went along. she has an interesting way of crafting her stories. It took a bit to get used to. ( )
  pam.enser | Apr 1, 2013 |
Bender is one of the mosts bizarre authors I've read in a long time. ( )
  Melanti | Mar 30, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385492162, Paperback)

In conventional fiction, war heroes return home minus an arm or a leg--or, to take Hemingway's worst-case scenario, the family jewels. In Aimee Bender's deeply unconventional collection, however, an even more suggestive body part goes AWOL: "Steve returned from the war without his lips." The army doctors have temporarily replaced them with a plastic disc, which impairs his speech. Luckily, this doesn't prevent him and his wife from engaging in some slightly surrealistic sexual maneuvers: "That night in bed, he grazed the disc over her raised nipples like a UFO and the plastic was cool on her skin. It felt like they were in college and toying with desk items as sexual objects."

That same combo--sex and off-kilter surrealism--provides Bender with her modus operandi. In "Call My Name," for example, a young heiress tails a stranger back to his apartment, gets her dress sliced off, and then consents to be trussed to a chair while he watches a TV documentary about Mozart. "Quiet Please" features a libidinous librarian who takes on all, uh, comers in the back room. Bender isn't, it should be said, simply a purveyor of French postcards. Her prose is exquisitely shaped, and its singsong rhythms suggest something out of a wised-up, whacked-out fairy tale. Indeed, if the Brothers Grimm had been a little more attuned to the pleasure principle, their fables might have boasted at least a family resemblance to Aimee Bender's. --James Marcus

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:58:08 -0400)

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 Bendr'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.… (more)

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