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by Aimee Bender
As I’ve thought through the possible criteria for determining the literary equivalent of a pop song, I’ve thought of so many stories that fit the bill, stories that have gotten under my skin, stories that I have to share. Unable to resist that urge, I’ve put together a Thriller-sized playlist of nine pop-musical short stories.
These stories are quirky, creepy, even awkward and gimmicky in parts, the way a fairytale can be when one puts away childish things. Bender’s great gift to us all is her fierce unwillingness to give up her childishness.
If reading Aimee Bender's stories was like creeping downstairs in the middle of the night to eat all the leftover cake with my hands -- that much better for the darkness, for the raw, guilty lust -- this new novel is summer afternoon, garden party fare.