IR Staff Tells All: Our Favorite Aimee Bender Stories

Indiana Review is proud to have actually the insimilar Aimee Bender

judging our 2016 Fiction Prize. If you’re taking a break from preparing your entry, inspect out the senior editors’ favorite Bender stories. Perhaps her spellbinding prose and uncanny premises will certainly inspire you.

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Su Cho (Editor):

“The Healer” from The Girl in the Flammable Skirt opens with an extremely factual statement: “Tright here were 2 mutant girls in the town: one had actually a hand also made of fire and the other had a hand also made of ice. Everyone else’s hands were normal.” Aimee Bender always manperiods to present the stselection as somepoint extrasimple in an understated yet powerful way. Fire and ice may be familiar to the reader, however we are taken past that and also right into exactly how the fire and ice girls involved terms with their noted distinctions and also not only heal others yet themselves.

Tessa Yang (Associate Editor): 

In Aimee Bender’s “End of the Line,” a guy purchases a tiny man from the pet store “to store him firm.” I’m attracted to this story’s mindful irony: how the huge man’s cruelties disclose his paralyzing isolation, exactly how the little man’s resistance suggests the strength of an entire bit world. The last photo of the massive male with the tiny hat on his “massive head” is a gesture of sweeping empathy that echoes ago through the story. Do I want to redeem him? As in so much of Bender’s work-related, the bizarre foffers through the touching to fling us into an area of beautiful unpredictabilities.

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Emily Corwin (Poetry Editor):

I initially review “Hymn” in high college and it brushed up me away, via its whimsy and lyricism, this civilization wbelow youngsters are made of paper or glass or deserve to readjust right into any object. I love exactly how these children grow right into adults and also usage the bodies they were offered, their distinct powers to aid everyone in the town. Tright here is such a deep feeling of neighborhood in this story, just how we make the ideal of instances, exactly how we offer what we can, exactly how points that have the right to seem unfortunate could actually be a blessing in disguise. The last sentence constantly stays through me: “My genes, my love, are rubber bands and rope; make yourself a structure you have the right to live inside.” We gather what we have, what we were born via, and also we have to make what we have the right to of it.

Maggie Su (Fiction Editor): 

Aimee Bender’s short story, “Off,” starts through the line, “At the party I make a goal and also it is to kiss 3 men: one via babsence hair, one via red hair, the 3rd blonde.” It’s a acquainted fairy tale premise made caustic, and also from that beginning pistol of an opener, Bender races via the story through every scene colored by our narrator’s wry and also cynical voice. She is the kind of woman who wears an expensive dress to a casual party to upstage the hold, that pulls a wounded ex-boyfrifinish into the bathroom as component of a game. Yet Bender keeps us so cshed in the head of this character that refsupplies to be likeable that we’re able to review in between the lines; to intuit the deep longing that exists behind her ego and petty actions. What I admire most around this story is the method interpretation multiplies; eexceptionally gesture in this piece acts on 2 levels. Every sentence is more than the sum of its parts. Just as our narrator paints beautiful landscapes via “glinting kni hanging from each husk,” Bender creates a cautious portrait of a woguy that shows up entirely in control, but truly balances on a knife-suggest.

Anna Cabe (Internet Editor): 

In the story, “The Color Master,” we hear, not from the heroine of the fairy tale, “Donkeyskin,” however from the artisans behind the development of her fabulous gowns, which are the colors of the moon, the sunlight, and also the skies. While fairy tale adaptations are a dime a dozen, Bender takes the adaptation better by concentrating on the sheer injustice of the king’s incestuous desire for his daughter. “Put anger in the dress. Righteous anger. Do you hear me?” the titular Color Master orders the narrator, her protégée. While it takes a while for the narrator to understand also, when the Color Master dies, she is ultimately able to channel her rage at the death of a true, unapologetic artist right into the development of the last, sky-colored gvery own, which encourages the princess to flee. In this story, Bender claims the power of art to inspire dissent. This tale always reminds me that the act of production is never before nothing; to make somepoint is courage in itself.