It's Raining Books Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | September 18, 2014

Lin Enger: IMG Knowing vs. Knowing



On a hot July evening years ago, my Toyota Tercel overheated on a flat stretch of highway north of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A steam geyser shot up from... Continue »
  1. $17.47 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    The High Divide

    Lin Enger 9781616203757

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$12.50
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Burnside Literature- A to Z

An Invisible Sign of My Own

by

An Invisible Sign of My Own Cover

 

Staff Pick

Bender's imagination takes her writing in fresh new directions that make comparison with her contemporaries difficult. The novel's narrator is soon-to-be-twenty-year-old Mona Gray. Just a week before the start of classes, with no advance warning (and no prior experience) Mona is offered a job teaching grade school math. For lack of anything better to do, and without a good excuse to decline the offer, she accepts. In one respect, at least, it's perfect: Mona loves math. In fact, she's obsessed with it.

But: She's also obsessed with death. Death and numbers, numbers and death... A second grade girl whose mother is dying of cancer, a science teacher with chemical burns up his arms, a hardware store owner who wears a number under his shirt to represent daily fluctuations in his state of mind. I've given this book to various friends, some of whom read incessantly and others who rarely make time for a novel – which is fine, too. It's not too long and it reads like a modern fairy tale. Aimee Bender is strange in just the right way.
Recommended by Dave, Powells.com

Bender's imagination takes her writing in fresh new directions that make comparison with her contemporaries difficult. The novel's narrator is soon-to-be-twenty-year-old Mona Gray. Just a week before the start of classes, with no advance warning (and no prior experience) Mona is offered a job teaching grade school math. For lack of anything better to do, and without a good excuse to decline the offer, she accepts. In one respect, at least, it's perfect: Mona loves math. In fact, she's obsessed with it.

But: She's also obsessed with death. Death and numbers, numbers and death... A second grade girl whose mother is dying of cancer, a science teacher with chemical burns up his arms, a hardware store owner who wears a number under his shirt to represent daily fluctuations in his state of mind. I've given this book to various friends, some of whom read incessantly and others who rarely make time for a novel – which is fine, too. It's not too long and it reads like a modern fairy tale. Aimee Bender is strange in just the right way.
Recommended by Dave, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

With her stunning debut collection of stories, The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, Aimee Bender showed herself to be "a writer who makes you glad for the very existence of language" (San Francisco Chronicle). The book was a sensation; it spent seven weeks on The Los Angeles Times bestseller list, received ecstatic reviews nationwide, and established Aimee Bender as one of the freshest and most original voices in American fiction.

In An Invisible Sign of My Own, Aimee Bender exceeds her early promise. She gives us the story of Mona Gray, a second-grade math teacher who has just turned twenty--a number which, like all numbers in her life, seems to have a profound significance. Mona lives her life under the shadow of her father's long, weird, unnamed illness and her own bizarre compulsions. She excels at music, running, and sex, but ceases each activity just at the moment enjoyment becomes intense: Mona is "in love with quitting." Only numbers provide the order and beauty she craves.

"Mix up some numbers and you get an equation for the way the wind shifts or an axiom for the movement of water, or the height of someone, or for how skin feels. You can account for softness. You can explain everything." With construction paper and Magic Markers, Mona arranges her classroom into "a beautiful museum of numbers," but that could also describe her life: a collection of oddities, a static place, a hushed and insular world where disruption is unwelcome. Then the science teacher arrives, with burn marks on his fingers and a genius for teaching children the joys of coughing, and Mona's strange and tidy universe is threatened by love, the supreme disorder. In her luminous, pitch-perfect prose, Bender conjures a dream world much like our own, a fairy tale grounded in a penetrating sense of what moves the human heart.

Review:

"This mesmerizing novel places a mathematical mind, poet's imagination, and voodoo queen's superstition in an athlete's body and sets to work, in a town stark as a blackboard, on the problem of Death. Pitting axes against angst, kids against cancer, soap against sex, wax numbers against depression, and love against the certainty of the beloved's doom, Aimee Bender nevertheless arrives--with wit, grace, and proof (that math is funny)--at compassion." David James Duncan

About the Author

Aimee Bender lives in Los Angeles. Her stories have appeared in Granta, GQ, Story, Harper's, The Antioch Review, and several other publications. She is the author of The Girl in the Flammable Skirt.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780385492232
Subtitle:
(a novel )
Author:
Bender, Aimee
Publisher:
Doubleday Books
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Love stories
Subject:
Women teachers
Subject:
Mathematics teachers.
Subject:
Primary school teachers.
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Series Volume:
Bd. 5
Publication Date:
2000
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
242 p.
Dimensions:
9.57x6.43x.97 in. 1.00 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. The Verificationist Used Mass Market $5.95
  2. The Lovely Bones
    Used Hardcover $0.95
  3. The Girl in the Flammable Skirt: Stories
    Used Trade Paper $8.00
  4. Carter Beats the Devil
    Used Trade Paper $6.50
  5. Big Fish
    Used Trade Paper $4.50
  6. Life of Pi
    Used Mass Market $3.50

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

An Invisible Sign of My Own Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$12.50 In Stock
Product details 242 p. pages Doubleday Books - English 9780385492232 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Bender's imagination takes her writing in fresh new directions that make comparison with her contemporaries difficult. The novel's narrator is soon-to-be-twenty-year-old Mona Gray. Just a week before the start of classes, with no advance warning (and no prior experience) Mona is offered a job teaching grade school math. For lack of anything better to do, and without a good excuse to decline the offer, she accepts. In one respect, at least, it's perfect: Mona loves math. In fact, she's obsessed with it.

But: She's also obsessed with death. Death and numbers, numbers and death... A second grade girl whose mother is dying of cancer, a science teacher with chemical burns up his arms, a hardware store owner who wears a number under his shirt to represent daily fluctuations in his state of mind. I've given this book to various friends, some of whom read incessantly and others who rarely make time for a novel – which is fine, too. It's not too long and it reads like a modern fairy tale. Aimee Bender is strange in just the right way.

"Staff Pick" by ,

Bender's imagination takes her writing in fresh new directions that make comparison with her contemporaries difficult. The novel's narrator is soon-to-be-twenty-year-old Mona Gray. Just a week before the start of classes, with no advance warning (and no prior experience) Mona is offered a job teaching grade school math. For lack of anything better to do, and without a good excuse to decline the offer, she accepts. In one respect, at least, it's perfect: Mona loves math. In fact, she's obsessed with it.

But: She's also obsessed with death. Death and numbers, numbers and death... A second grade girl whose mother is dying of cancer, a science teacher with chemical burns up his arms, a hardware store owner who wears a number under his shirt to represent daily fluctuations in his state of mind. I've given this book to various friends, some of whom read incessantly and others who rarely make time for a novel – which is fine, too. It's not too long and it reads like a modern fairy tale. Aimee Bender is strange in just the right way.

"Review" by , "This mesmerizing novel places a mathematical mind, poet's imagination, and voodoo queen's superstition in an athlete's body and sets to work, in a town stark as a blackboard, on the problem of Death. Pitting axes against angst, kids against cancer, soap against sex, wax numbers against depression, and love against the certainty of the beloved's doom, Aimee Bender nevertheless arrives--with wit, grace, and proof (that math is funny)--at compassion."
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.