The Indescribable Delight of Aimee Bender

When I grow up I want to be Aimee Bender. What’s that you say? You’re already grown up? Don’t be a cow. I’m still little. Little little. Little little little little.

Aw damn…

My first Aimee Bender book was The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake which I only chose to read because of its title. I do that, you see. Choose books because they have either lovely covers or lovely titles. It was a weird book that I didn’t particularly enjoy reading. She did everything wrong. She didn’t use quotation marks, for instance. It annoyed me that for some reason she didn’t need to. I knew which parts were dialogue without them. No man… you can’t do that. What about the rules?! And then? The protagonist had the most insane affliction. That poor girl…

Yet it started opening up a niggle in me…

She wasn’t doing the things right but I understood. And other people even said the book was beautiful which was REALLY weird because this isn’t a normal book people shouldn’t like it because those are the rules.

And yet…

And yet she could say crazy things and not use punctuation like you’re supposed to and the story was sticky like it stuck and the lemon cake tasted like deceit and I understood even though everything was wrong. The story was sticky.

It was so sticky.

And then I bought some of her short stories because why not and those stories were even stickier all sticking in my head like they were super important but they weren’t important they were just true even though they were about mad things like boys who shrink into amoebas and wow… I’m re-reading them all now so I’m feeling happier than usual. Isn’t that nice? For an author to make you feel happy?

So when I grow up I kind of want to be Aimee Bender but the Nadine Rose Larter version (which will probably be sad) because Aimee is so true and real and she just writes whatever crazy thing she wants and even though maybe they’re not important they still really feel like they are.

Because they’re so real and they don’t make sense but that’s kind of really delicious…

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