The L Mag Questionnaire for Writer Types: Aimee Bender

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06/16/2011 12:39 PM |


Aimee Bender, who reinvigorates magic-realist conceits with a wry, interior voice, is in town to read from her most recent novel, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, which is now in paperback. She’ll be at BookCourt tomorrow night.

For our readers who may not be familiar with your work, what’s the most accurate thing someone else has said about it?
I like it when people say what they read stirred up fillings in them that they did not immediately understand and that was ok. That it’s both strange and not strange at the same time.

What have you read/watched/listened to/looked at/ate recently that will permanently change our readers’ lives for the better?

The Wire Season 4, PJ Harvey’s latest CD, Let England Shake and RadioLab on “Help” about bargains we make with ourselves. That was so good. Am reading Tove Janssen’s The Summer Book (she wrote the Moominpapa Series) and it is just plain loveliness. Also, cherries are out right now! Cherries and chocolate.

Whose ghostwritten celebrity tell-all (or novel) would you sprint to the store to buy (along with a copy of The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius so that the checkout clerk doesn’t look at you screwy)?
Meryl Streep is kind of a boring answer, but I just heard her reading John Cheever’s stories on an audio book and once again it was a reminder about how incredibly alive that woman is. I would like to read about her. Also Katie Holmes I would without a doubt peek at in the bookstore piles.

Have you ever been a Starving Artist, and did it make you brilliant, or just hungry?
Pretty much just hungry.

What would you characterize as an ideal interaction with a reader?
In real life? Ideally the most meaningful interaction happens during reading, I think, which is invisible to me. But in person: Some kind of genuine moment where the reader expresses something real about what they read, and the writer feels like the reader read the book the writer wrote.

Have you ever written anything that you’d like to take back?
I don’t think so, even if it feels really different than what I might write today—I still wouldn’t want to take it back. I usually wait awhile before I let something out of the barn.