The Girl in the Flammable Skirt

By Aimee Bender,

Book cover of The Girl in the Flammable Skirt: Stories

Book description

In The Girl in the Flammable Skirt Aimee Bender has created a world where nothing is quite as it seems. From a man suffering from reverse evolution to a lonely wife who waits for her husband to return from war; to a small town where one girl has a hand…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked The Girl in the Flammable Skirt as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This was one of the books (along with Anthony Doerr’s The Shell Collector) that inspired me to pursue fiction writing rather than poetry.

For the longest time, poetry was my preferred genre, and while I had dabbled in writing fiction, I struggled. It wasn’t until reading The Girl in the Flammable Skirt near the end of my undergrad that I realized fiction doesn’t have to be straight realism—it can be magical, strange, symbolic, weird, fabulist, dreamlike.

Two of Bender’s stories that had the most impact on me were “The Rememberer,” where the narrator’s lover experiences reverse evolution,” and “Drunken…

From Jacqueline's list on magical realism by women writers.

My father’s neurologist described Alzheimer’s as “a real weird city.” It was as apt a description as I’ve found. This collection of magical, strange, and hilarious short stories kept me company as I navigated the shifting landscape of Dad’s illness. At that time, I could not have found a better reflection of my own stew of emotions than the “reverse evolution” chronicled in the first story in the book. “The Rememberer” saved me. Bender’s graceful tale of the acceptance of inevitable loss is suffused with love, and the way her writing lets imagination spring the bonds of reality encouraged me…

From Tanya's list on alzheimer’s caregivers.

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