Saturday, June 19, 2010

What is Aimee Bender reading?

This weekend's featured contributor at Writers Read: Aimee Bender, author of the newly released The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake.

Her entry begins:
I just finished Big Machine by Victor LaValle-- and what a book. It's sprawling, and he's packing a lot in there, and it's magical and dark and noir-ish, and more. About 2/3's of the way through, he makes some very risky choices, and they are the most felt choices in the book, to me. I was happily reading along, and then the stakes get higher, but never in a typical stake-heightening kind of way. These are outlandish scenes and happenings that feel haunting and unsettling and right. His progression does feel Murakami-like to me, (a big compliment from me, because I just love how Murakami tells a story); LaValle's a very different writer, and Ricky Rice's voice is very appealing, another reason I thorougly enjoyed the book-- but I was just so thrilled to experience the risk and reward of that development.

Soon I'll be reading Marilynne Robinson's Home-- I just...[read on]
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 newly released The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake (2010).

Among the early praise for The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake:
"Odd and oddly beautiful....moving."
--Washington Post

"Haunting....Bender's prose delivers electric shocks....rendering the world in fresh, unexpected jolts. Moving, fanciful and gorgeously strange."
--People Magazine

"Charming and wistful....[Bender] harness[es] her exquisite, bizarre sensitivity, in this haunting examination."
--The Atlantic

Bender is the master of quiet hysteria.... She builds pressure sentence by sentence.....the crippling power of empathy."
--Los Angeles Times

"Extraordinary.... a complicated novel with significant emotional heft.... The delicacy with which Bender captures Rose’s tastes makes this not just a deeply felt novel but one of the most inventive pieces of food writing in recent memory."
--Time Out New York
Visit Aimee Bender's website.

The Page 99 Test: Willful Creatures.

Writers Read: Aimee Bender.

--Marshal Zeringue