Monday, May 9, 2011

Aimee Bender

Aimee Bender is the author of four books: The Girl in the Flammable Skirt (1998) which was a New York Times Notable Book, An Invisible Sign of My Own (2000) which was a Los Angeles Times pick of the year, Willful Creatures (2005) which was nominated by The Believer as one of the best books of the year, and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake (2010).

From Bender's Q & A with Dennis Nishi at the Wall Street Journal:

Do you think new writers in general have trouble believing in magic? I’ve noticed in popular culture that there seems to be a need to ground everything. Even in imagined worlds like the “Tron” movie, the electronic people eat, sleep and wobble unsteadily. In the original 80s movie, they just existed.

That’s interesting. It’s such a common workshop comment, which is to embody the characters in the place, that I wonder if that’s seeped into screenwriting. I think you’re right in that a movie like that really has to work amazingly on its own terms for people to let go.

You don’t seem to have any problem with turning magic into seamless events in your books.

For me, even in my first book, the pleasures of writing anything magical is that it has to be physical. It has to be grounded and very much in this world. Then, I get to play with all the consequences of this new thing. If somebody has a fire, I still get to talk about fire as opposed to a concept or an idea.

On the other hand, the magic in “The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake” is all internal and in the mind of your protagonist, which can almost come across as metaphor.

The magic was really a way to access the emotional life of Rose, which allowed me to explore the relationships she has with...[read on]
Visit Aimee Bender's website.

The Page 99 Test: Willful Creatures.

Writers Read: Aimee Bender.

--Marshal Zeringue