“When language is treated beautifully and interestingly, it can feel good for the body: It's nourishing; it's rejuvenating.” – Aimee Bender
Born on this date in 1969, Bender is both a novelist and short story writer who studied creative writing at the University of San Diego and California Irvine then went into simultaneous careers as a writer and teacher. She currently teaches creative writing at the University of Southern California and was Director of the USC PhD in Creative Writing & Literature for several years. She enjoys writing, she said, because “The human being's ability to make a metaphor to describe a human experience is just really cool.”
Known for her stories about young people, Bender said, “I love to write about people in their 20s. It's such a fraught and exciting and kind of horrible time.” She is the winner of two Pushcart Prizes, and her novel An Invisible Sign of My Own, was named as a Los Angeles Times “Pick of the Year.” Her collection of short stories, The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, spent several months on both the New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller lists.
While she has done several novels, she said she prefers short stories. “Novels are so much unrulier and more stressful to write. A short story can last two pages and then it's over, and that's kind of a relief. I really like balancing the two.”