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This title in other editions

An Invisible Sign of My Own

by

An Invisible Sign of My Own Cover

ISBN13: 9780385492249
ISBN10: 0385492243
All Product Details

 

Awards

Selected by The Los Angeles Times as one of the Best Books of 2000.

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 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 façade. Bender brilliantly directs her characters, giving them unexpected emotional depth and setting them in a calamitous world, both fancifully surreal and startlingly familiar.

Review:

"Witty and engaging....[A] fanciful and original take on the quietly helter-skelter world that lies within." The New York Times

Review:

"This novel is light as a zephyr and unique as a snowflake." The Washington Post

Review:

"[Bender] has taken an achingly idiosyncratic story and rendered it with eloquence, hilarity, and ominous precision....Beguiling and chilling at once." The Boston Globe

Review:

"A breezy, electric smash of a first novel." The Philadelphia Inquirer

Review:

"Aimee Bender is one writer who is shouting clearly and beautifully from the hilltops that our lives are most definitely not ordinary and typical." The Denver Post

Review:

"Delicately surreal....[An Invisible Sign of My Own] reads like a Brothers Grimm fairy tale overlaid with the futuristic alienation of Philip K. Dick." Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"Bender once again creates a woman passionately on the brink in An Invisible Sign of My Own, her first novel. This time it's Mona Gray, an obsessive-compulsive who knocks on wood until her knuckles are raw and bleeding, sleeps with the light on, washes her mouth out with soap whenever she feels sexual desire, and takes an ax home for her 20th birthday, contemplating cutting off body parts in an attempt to mentally stave off her father's impending death from a mysterious illness. Death, to Mona, is the ultimate loss of control: 'A sharp, dark sliver; a loose, pale pellet. On the day of your death, it melts out through your entire body, a warm, broken bath bead.'" Mike Albo, Salon.com

Review:

"With its sparse, ironic prose, this novel is a wonderful literary treatment of anxiety, depression, and compulsion. Readers of Bender's collection of short stories, The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, will not be disappointed, as well as those looking for a fresh, groundbreaking author." Michelle Kaske, Booklist

Review:

"Bender's gifts go beyond a wicked sense of humor. Stylistically, her prose is spare and evocative. She is masterful at depicting the awkwardness of male-female romance." Carmen Scheidel, Time Out New York

Synopsis:

Mona Gray, a second grade math teacher, knocks on wood, adds her steps, and multiplies people in the park against one another. But while she maintains this precarious equilibrium in her strange, tidy universe, love intrudes in the form of the new science teacher.

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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

amabre, June 18, 2009 (view all comments by amabre)
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 students...Not to mention the science teacher; whom she has mixed feelings about. He's cute and fun and she wants him but she's afraid she'll lose him or hurt him or kill him so when she's lusty she eats soap to supress her desire.
Weird, I know, but within Aimee Benders lovely storytelling, it all makes sense.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(9 of 11 readers found this comment helpful)
e_buzz, June 30, 2007 (view all comments by e_buzz)
Aimee Bender is the genuine article.

She's got what most people who write want and she's giving it all away in her writing.

You want to write?

Read Aimee Bender

A Mazing
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(15 of 25 readers found this comment helpful)
michellevt34, September 18, 2006 (view all comments by michellevt34)
Aimee Bender blends issues such as a child's reaction to a parent's mysterious illness, a schoolteacher's obsessive compulsive tendencies, children with very special needs in her small classroom, a town filled with beautifully bizarre citizens, and finally, this teacher's learning to open up what was becoming a smaller and smaller life to others, and to love. Bender's details and images border on magical in their uniqueness; I cannot recall when I have read such an original novel---I truly cannot compare Bender with any of the many authors I have read, and that is such a rarity.
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(15 of 32 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780385492249
Editor:
Pohlman, Tina
Publisher:
Anchor Books
Author:
Bender, Aimee
Location:
New York, N.Y.
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Love stories
Subject:
Women teachers
Subject:
Mathematics teachers.
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
July 2001
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.02x5.22x.59 in. .44 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Staff Picks
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

An Invisible Sign of My Own New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$13.95 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Anchor Books/Doubleday - English 9780385492249 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Witty and engaging....[A] fanciful and original take on the quietly helter-skelter world that lies within."
"Review" by , "This novel is light as a zephyr and unique as a snowflake."
"Review" by , "[Bender] has taken an achingly idiosyncratic story and rendered it with eloquence, hilarity, and ominous precision....Beguiling and chilling at once."
"Review" by , "A breezy, electric smash of a first novel."
"Review" by , "Aimee Bender is one writer who is shouting clearly and beautifully from the hilltops that our lives are most definitely not ordinary and typical."
"Review" by , "Delicately surreal....[An Invisible Sign of My Own] reads like a Brothers Grimm fairy tale overlaid with the futuristic alienation of Philip K. Dick."
"Review" by , "Bender once again creates a woman passionately on the brink in An Invisible Sign of My Own, her first novel. This time it's Mona Gray, an obsessive-compulsive who knocks on wood until her knuckles are raw and bleeding, sleeps with the light on, washes her mouth out with soap whenever she feels sexual desire, and takes an ax home for her 20th birthday, contemplating cutting off body parts in an attempt to mentally stave off her father's impending death from a mysterious illness. Death, to Mona, is the ultimate loss of control: 'A sharp, dark sliver; a loose, pale pellet. On the day of your death, it melts out through your entire body, a warm, broken bath bead.'"
"Review" by , "With its sparse, ironic prose, this novel is a wonderful literary treatment of anxiety, depression, and compulsion. Readers of Bender's collection of short stories, The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, will not be disappointed, as well as those looking for a fresh, groundbreaking author."
"Review" by , "Bender's gifts go beyond a wicked sense of humor. Stylistically, her prose is spare and evocative. She is masterful at depicting the awkwardness of male-female romance."
"Synopsis" by , Mona Gray, a second grade math teacher, knocks on wood, adds her steps, and multiplies people in the park against one another. But while she maintains this precarious equilibrium in her strange, tidy universe, love intrudes in the form of the new science teacher.
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