Sunday, November 27, 2011
The Girl in the Flammable Skirt by Aimee Bender
Whimsical things happen but the whimsical things draw blood
What a good writer, I kept thinking, as I read through Aimee Bender’s book of short stories. What a great prose stylist. The sentences were amazing. Scary glimpses, transgressions, were treated matter of factly, although, like a lot of short story collections, after a while, it grew monotonous in its obsessions. It was like Cherries Jubilee for breakfast and Cherries Jubilee for lunch and Cherries Jubilee for dinner. A few too many of the stories felt glib and not deeply moving.
However, this book was completely original. My favorite story was “Call My Name,” about a rich girl on the SF Muni who propositions men and then meets a man who doesn’t seem interested in her, although he seems interested enough to give her what she wants. I also like “Fell This Girl” about a girl who is having trouble making impressions on those closest to her.