The Girl in the Flammable Skirt

The Girl in the Flammable Skirt


Book - 1998
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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.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, c1998
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780385492157
Branch Call Number: F Ben


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Oct 03, 2018

Interesting and creative ideas, though not very well fleshed out and become very plot driven.

ArapahoeZoey Aug 01, 2018

What a curious collection of stories! They are a fun way to spend some time but near impossible for me to describe, ineffable. I had to resort to reading passages out loud to anyone inquiring as to what I was reading.

ksoles Aug 04, 2012

Aimee Bender's stories certainly contain a surreal touch; her first collection reads like a series of quick dreams ranging from disturbing to funny and entirely disregarding the laws of reality.

None of Bender's characters appear whole. Her cast includes an imp, a mermaid, a man with a soccer-ball sized hole in his stomach, a girl with a hand made of fire and another with one made of ice. Even those who seem realistically human carry deep voids, such as a librarian who fulfills the fantasies of several male patrons until she meets one whose extraordinary feats of strength finally exposes her emotional pain. In a line that applies to all the stories, the librarian acknowledges that "it's hard to tell the difference between fantasy and reality."

These odd, rambunctious, and startling stories won't please the literal-minded but they will charm those who like their short fiction with an irreverent edge.


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