The Girl in the Flammable Skirt: Stories (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

"My all-time favorite collection! Whether tracing the de-evolution of a man to a monkey to a tadpole or engaging with a wife who is dissatisfied when her husband returns home from war with no lips, these fabulist stories are entertaining, funny, and original.

recommended if you like: Lorrie Moore, magical realism"

- Marc


"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.

About the Author

Aimee Bender is the author of the novels The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake—a New York Times bestseller—and An Invisible Sign of My Own, and of the collections The Girl in the Flammable Skirt and Willful Creatures. Her works have been widely anthologized and have been translated into sixteen languages. She lives in Los Angeles.

Praise For…

"Aimee Bender's debut is a string of jewels."
--Publishers Weekly

"Superbly imagined.  Bender has hit the ground running."
--Entertainment Weekly

"Bender's stories read like modern fables--with a healthy sense of twisted humor thrown in for good measure."
--The Village Voice Literary Supplement

"Aimee Bender's stories come as a revelation....She's a thrilling discovery."
--Jonathan Lethem, author of  Girl in Landscape  and As She Climbed Across the Table

"Keep your eye on this writer and her highwire act. I have a feeling she'll be keeping readers breathless for a long time to come."  
--Dani Shapiro, author of  Slow Motion
Product Details
ISBN: 9780385492164
ISBN-10: 0385492162
Publisher: Anchor
Publication Date: August 17th, 1999
Pages: 192
Language: English