On Thursday, Guernica’s October issue went live with a fantastical tale of childhood by Sofi Stambo. “A Bunch of Savages,” which was chosen by Aimee Bender to win the Disquiet International Literary Program Award in fiction, follows a maybe gypsy, definitely poor family in Stambo’s native Bulgaria during communism....more
Posts Tagged: Aimee Bender
This is the week of fantastical fiction, of the weird and the magical, of re-imagining fairy tales and urban legends, of making the familiar strange and the strange familiar. On Tuesday, a new edition of Angela Carter’s seminal 1979 story collection The Bloody Chamber was released to mark what would have been Carter’s 75th birthday, had she not passed in 1992....more
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Alissa Nutting has given us the story of a woman with a transparent panel covering her beating heart. Her story, “The Transparency Project,” arrived via Guernica online post on Tuesday. This story revives the playful Nutting of her 2010 story collection, Unclean Jobs for Girls and Women, after her departure into the darker world of a teacher seducing her students with her 2013 novel, Tampa....more
Every good story is rooted in conflict, and most of us learned the different types of conflict in our high school literature classes like clockwork, year in and year out: man v. man, man v. self, man v. society, man v....more
The classic children’s book Goodnight Moon is a model example of successful narrative structure, argues Aimee Bender in the New York Times. The story follows enough traditional patterns to be satisfying, but also deviates in new and unique ways:
“Goodnight Moon” does two things right away: It sets up a world and then it subverts its own rules even as it follows them.
Somewhere between its Kmart and hysterical phases, literary realism got shaken up, when a group of young women writers began crafting a spectral brand of fantastical, strange fiction….Permeating the stories is a sense of omnipresent strangeness made visible.
The Los Angeles Review of Books has a great piece on “our current bumper crop” of women writing—choose your favorite term—magical realism or speculative fiction or just really cool weird stuff....more
Every Monday I link to very short fiction I like that I hope you’ll like too:
“When we reach the street, the houses are dark, except for one—the grey one with the white trim, chain link fence, black oak tree.” — At Waccamaw, “A House Made of Stars” by Tawnysha Greene....more
I’ve been writing this column off and on for a few years now and I thought I’d shake it up a bit by turning it into a dialogue....more
In his introduction to the issue, guest editor Jim Shepard says, “I’ve been drawn to protagonists who are geniuses at knitting together self-indictment and self-exoneration in ways that are both unconscious and calculated. Protagonists who leave us to sort through what they’ve figured out, what they can’t figure out, and what they won’t try to figure out about themselves.”...more
This week in New York Stephen Colbert celebrates Ulysses, Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson are King and Queen of the Mermaid Parade, Heidi Julavits interviews Aimee Bender at Symphony Space, Gordon Lish MCs the NY Tyrant reading, Ann Beattie reads at Book Court, Mary Caponegro headlines the Big Other extravaganza, Light Industry presents short films curated by Jack Stevenson, CLMP colonizes Housing Works for its Giant Lit Mag Fair, and BAMcinemaFEST continues....more