An Invisible Sign of My Own

An Invisible Sign of My Own Aimee Bender s stunning debut collection The Girl in the Flammable Skirt proved her to be one of the freshest voices in American fiction Now in her first novel she builds on that early promise Mon

  • Title: An Invisible Sign of My Own
  • Author: Aimee Bender
  • ISBN: 9780385492249
  • Page: 204
  • Format: Paperback
  • Aimee Bender s stunning debut collection, The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, proved her to be one of the freshest voices in American fiction Now, in her first novel, she builds on that early promise.Mona Gray was ten when her father contracted a mysterious illness and she became a quitter, abandoning each of her talents just as pleasure became intense The only thing she caAimee Bender s stunning debut collection, The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, proved her to be one of the freshest voices in American fiction Now, in her first novel, she builds on that early promise.Mona Gray was ten when her father contracted a mysterious illness and she became a quitter, abandoning each of her talents just as pleasure became intense The only thing she can t stop doing is math She knocks on wood, adds her steps, and multiplies people in the park against one another When Mona begins teaching math to second graders, she finds a ready audience But the difficult and wonderful facts of life keep intruding She finds herself drawn to the new science teacher, who has an unnerving way of seeing through her intricately built fa ade Bender brilliantly directs her characters, giving them unexpected emotional depth and setting them in a calamitous world, both fancifully surreal and startlingly familiar.

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    An Invisible Sign of My Own


    About “Aimee Bender

    • Aimee Bender

      Aimee Bender is the author of the novel An Invisible Sign of My Own and of the collections The Girl in the Flammable Skirt and Willful Creatures Her work has been widely anthologized and has been translated into ten languages She lives in Los Angeles.



    368 thoughts on “An Invisible Sign of My Own

    • On finishing the book I came to to see what the concensus was and I continue to be amazed at the power of subverted expectations There are dozens of reviews citing the unbelievability of the circumstances of the book, or the lack of realism in the dialog of second graders and the thin plotting of the book one notable review even complains that this uncertified and likely certifiable teacher is handed a classroom.Which has nothing to do with what the book wants to do Aimee Bender traps us in a ve [...]


    • this book seems to me miraculous i am blown away the language is extraordinary simple and fluid and always surprising, all sharp angles and painful enchantments and what it says, the depth of pain the book carries on its slender breezy back, wow, it left me breathless strange how much psychic pain such a little funny book can carry, how many deep terrors it can plumb death, illness, the loss of those we need love, the body and its redundancies, the unspeakable violence we do to ourselves in orde [...]



    • Just when I was getting a little weary of knocking down the unread pile of books from my shelf, Aimee Bender s quirky novel about a socially awkward 20 year old elementary school math teacher pleasantly surprised me with its unique perspective and wittiness To simply summarize the plot wouldn t give proper credit to the effect that the first person narrative has upon the reader The math teacher, Mona Grey, is a slightly neurotic and eccentric person who obsessively knocks on wood as her invisibl [...]


    • Feeling humbled by the to me unpretentious quirk that is Aimee Bender How glorious when reading feels a little bit like falling in love something that you instinctively understand but could not possibly explain I must admit that for this novel a lot of the charm lay in the reviews of others Indignant school teachers offended by an inaccurate portrayal of teaching and children Fussy readers who cannot cope when a story is not just so as if being realistic and structured is the only way to be when [...]


    • The only reason I finished this book was because I thought it was well written OK, also because I didn t want to have to bring a dish to book club I didn t connect with any of the characters and found them annoying But than that, this book really offended me as a teacher The fact that this 19 year old girl is allowed to just go teach seemed to carry the implication that anyone can do it Forget about my degree, 60 hour work weeks, and hours upon hours of professional development every year, a 19 [...]


    • I d imagine that it d be difficult to have ambiguous feelings about this book you ll either love it or hate it That being said, I loved every bit of it to pieces and have proceeded to carry them in my pocket with me and then scatter them around everywhere I go An Invisible Sign of My Own covers innumerable heavy subjects in a way that s so delicate and light that you re somehow able to take it all in without being pinned under a leaden weight The writing is beautiful, like a dark surreal fairyta [...]


    • This is about a young woman she s between 18 and 20, I think who stumbles upon a teaching job.She s eccentric, almost OCD, but in a whimsical and charming way that allows her to form interesting relationships with her second grade studentsNot to mention the science teacher, whom she has mixed feelings about He s cute and fun and she wants to bang him but she s afraid she ll lose him or hurt him or kill him so when she s horny she eats soap to supress her desire Weird, I know, but within Aimee Be [...]


    • I am a huge fan of Aimee Bender s whimsical, clever work, and very much enjoyed An Invisible Sign of My Own It is an unusual novel, as I have found all of her work to be, with an awful lot of depth to it Interesting and strange, An Invisible Sign of My Own has rather an original feel to it, and is filled with glorious descriptions and some quite moving scenes.


    • Bender s writing style is mesmerizing, which is just as well, since the actual plot and characters in this book are completely unbelieveable and difficult to sympathize with Other reviewers have mentioned the ridiculous notion that a 19 year old without any training could be hired without a resume, without an interview as an elementary school math teacher, and yes, that s certainly one of the many issues this book has with Realism vs Artsy, Dream like Quality I m prepared to suspend disbelief fo [...]


    • I think I m going to have to abandon this one about 2 3 of the way through Aimee Bender s writing kept me in it for as long as I was There are some really good literary moments Unfortunately, I have been getting increasingly annoyed with the novel itself Many of the reviews I have read here reflect on the lack of believability While I am willing to suspend some of that disbelief for good writing, much of it did not pay off and could have been handled better, particularly in the school scenes I t [...]


    • I was bemused by the some of the criticism of this book I ve read here and there, mostly complaining about it requiring too much suspension of disbelief I m not sure how the author could have clearly telegraphed THIS IS A FAIRY TALE without, say, huge flaming letters on a mountaintop I can see how it would be an unsatisfactory read you were demanding realism, but read it instead without that bias and you ll read, I think, the book the author intended.


    • I loved this Admittedly, I have a surreal and unhealthy relationship with numbers myself, so I could relate to the plot There s a leaden quality to the whole story, inertia and weight that threaten to drag the reader down, but here s the thing you have a choice You can decide to pluck the beauty and sweetness from down among all those stones Bender s got some seriously whimsical ways.


    • i love working with people who have ocd, but get bored while reading about them also annoyed when all it takes is a cute boyfriend to make the ocd go away though that boyfriend waaaaaaas cute.


    • Ho inaugurato il 2012 con un romanzo che merita davvero.Buon segno per me, per le mie letture, per i miei libri Un romanzo che fin dalle prime pagine mi aveva gi convinta ad attribuirgli le 4 stelline anobiane Aim e Bender sa scrivere, sa raccontare, sa spiazzare, sa confondere, deludere, rallegrare, inorridire tiene costantemente il nostro bagaglio di emozioni in movimento.Inizia la sua storia con una fiaba dal retrogusto amaro ma dal lieto fine, ed a quella fiaba che tutto ritorna Protagonista [...]


    • There really wasn t much of a plot in this meandering tale of 19 year old woman, who struggles with most aspects of life, who is grounded only by her love of numbers Implausibly, she becomes a 2nd grade teacher, without any training, because there is a shortage of teachers and the principal saw her doing long division in a park for fun Really Most of the characters in the book are just variations of the main character, Mona Gray Her next door neighbor fashions numbers out of wax to wear around h [...]


    • Aimee Bender is one of my new favorite novelist short story writers Her short stories, for me, fall into the same category as Kelly Link s work these magical little gems that are weird and wonderful and can t be nicely wrapped up There s just something about them that I adore, even when I don t like certain things about them That s the case with this novel There was so much that I loved the language, the symbolism, the quirkiness, the emotion what a SAD novel this was, in many ways BUT I really [...]


    • My favorite Bender thus far Loved everything about this story The characters, the premise, the prologue everything Never stop writing Aimee


    • Recensione anche sul mio blog pleaseanotherbook.tumblr p Un segno invisibile e mio l ultimo libro di Aimee Bender che ho letto e di cui mi sono innamorata ancora una volta Edito da Minimum Fax una storia irreale, magica e incredibilmente toccante, che naviga nelle acque del magic realism e ne esce edulcorata da ogni logica, per restituire una prospettiva nuova sul mondo Mona racchiude tutte le idiosincrasie di una societ che sfugge alla logica imprevedibile del tempo, accompagnando quella inelut [...]


    • Sometimes I make grand statements about myself that sound like facts but really aren t true at all The one running through my head right now is along the lines of how I hate quirky for quirkies sake, but that Aimee Bender avoided that pratfall with her weird world of Mona Gray in the novel An Invisible Sign of My Own But I don t really hate quirky for quirkies sake I love Miranda July and her quirkiness is an affectation jarring than a monocle god love her She once set her short story character [...]


    • This book was simply awesome The character of Mona Gray had many traits that I see in myself It will make you feel comfortable with your idiosyncricies, and allow you to realize that you are not the only one who notices you have them Written in a flowing, funny, easy to read, but poetic style, I soon realized after the first few chapters that this book was rich beyond comparison to most, with many layers of story including heart, life, disease, coming of age, and learning to care about others A [...]


    • I started out liking this book the fairytale element, the clever use of numbers as a thematic component, the lovely lyrical language that carries you along in a quicksilver current from line to line, page to page, as in a dream.But then somehow, somewhere, it flopped The plot was flimsy, at best And its dark subject matter death, cancer, mental illness is not dealt with sharply enough, hovers as a mere shadow on the narrative that never fully comes into the light Things are vague, too vague, hin [...]


    • Good book I especially liked the two stories fables allegories that bookend the action Just not sure about all the stuff in between I mean, I got it in the end It made sense, what she was going for, and I can see how the whole story was working towards her point, but it just seemed like it took a lot of endurance to get there It felt like a good portion of the story was just Bender spinning her wheels, showing off her considerable talent for finding uncommon descriptions of things which is impre [...]


    • I loved this, but not in a love love sort of way Love like part awe, part disturb Now that I have read both The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake and An Invisible Sign of my Own, I am sure of one thing I am envious of Aimee Bender s remarkable talent She astounds me with her feeling, ecstatic prose There is a magnetism to her worlds, a high wire act, which plants you in the magical realism that is enough like reality to fool you, to draw you in until it s too late It sounds like I m describing a [...]


    • I laugh just like my mother, is what she usually said, in horror Oh God, she said, I m so terrified I m going to be exactly like my mother I nodded when she said it, but I never really understood her I didn t understand the big deal Everyone said what she said, but it was the opposite that broke my heart I think I could love this book by that moment alone, because it truly captures how I have felt about my mom since she passed But that is not what this story is about, nor is it why I love this b [...]


    • I just really like Aimee Bender s writing I was disappointed with The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, but loved Willful Creatures This book gets inside the head of loveable, flawed, slightly OCD Mona As she goes about her compulsive knocking on wood, and her misplaced focus on certain things to the exclusion of others, I was sailing along I wouldn t recommend this to everyone There are no explanations of what s really happening For example, Mona s father is ill or is he with an unexplained ill [...]


    • DNF at page 80 Overly pretentious writing similar to her most disappointing short stories, coupled with flowery descriptions of gratioutous self harmabsolutely not for me.


    • In my book club, we take turns choosing the book There are only two rules try to pick a book no one has read and no books written by dead white men My first choice for this month was actually Aimee Bender s newest book, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake One member was already halfway through the book so instead I chose An Invisible Sign of My Own, her first novel An Invisible Sign of My Own has all of the bits that I love about Aimee Bender the surrealism, the delicate language, and the quirk [...]


    • Aimee Bender constructs her sentences like no other, and I think that s what draws me into her books and stories She s enchantingly poetic even when she s describing unsavory things in this case, like the narrator sticking a bar of soap into her mouth Who would imagine that a scene like that would sound beautiful But somehow it does She also kicks ass at blending the traditional with the unexpected by holding a magnifying glass to characters quirks and hangups On the surface, and in the descript [...]


    • un segno visibile e purtroppo condivisomeno coeso di L Inconfondibile tristezza della torta al limone, tutto incentrato sui problemi di incomunicabilit di Mona e, da un certo punto in poi, sui suoi deliritratto caratteriale ossessivo compulsivo, Mona una giovane donna che cerca di sopravvivere alle sue idiosincrasie, che sono abbastanza da renderle difficile il rapporto umano, e insegna matematica alle elementarii danni che pu fare una persona con simili problemi in una scuola elementare america [...]


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