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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

'Letting People Know Who You Are'

“I noticed, when I taught elementary school, how true the squeaky wheel thing is, and how endearing squeaky wheels can be! Because when you're being a squeaky wheel, you're also really letting people know who you are.” – Aimee Bender

Born in California on June 28, 1969, Bender splits her time between her writing (short stories and novels) and teaching about the process, primarily at the collegiate level.  Known for her surreal stories and characters, she's been published in magazines and journals ranging from Harper's, McSweeney's and The Paris Review to inclusion in a number of anthologies.  Her short story, Faces was a 2009 Shirley Jackson Award finalist – for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense. 

Bender earned her undergraduate degree at UC-San Diego and a Master’s from the creative writing MFA program at University of California at Irvine where she started her writing career.

In addition to her numerous stories, she has authored half-a-dozen books (out in 16 languages), including The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, a collection of short stories, and The New York Times bestseller and award-winning novel The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake.  Bender has received two Pushcart Prizes for her writing. 

“Novels are so much unrulier and more stressful to write,” she said.  “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.”

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