The girl in the flammable skirt by Aimee Bender


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The girl in the flammable skirt is a collection of stories by Aimee Bender, published when the author was nineteen years old – something I think it should be mentioned, since the book does not seem written by a young beginner.

The stories can be connected to the magic realism genre, for the stories elements and situations like the mutant girls with the hand of fire and ice, the ruby ring with magical proprieties, the man who wakes up with a hole in his belly, …

The thing that group the stories is the fact they have as main character mostly young women in search of something to fill their dissatisfaction: the stories are marked by a slightly melancholy the characters try to face, so a girl spends her day in evaluating men, another in trying to find out if it’s still possible for her to love her husband, and a librarian give herself to the library customer to forget her father’s death.

Some of the story are more easy to remember respect to others, overall the book in my opinion works thanks to the dissatisfaction theme that is above each story. The reader then remembers the emotive impression the collection made more than each single story.


* The girl in the flammable skirt by Aimee Bender ★★★☆☆½

*I read this book in English

Realismo magico


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Questo mese il gruppo YA si sta dedicando all’esplorazione del genere “realismo magico“, ovvero di quei romanzi in cui gli elementi magici (o di folklore, o soprannaturale etc…) sono contestualizzati nel reale senza che si pongano domande riguardo alla loro natura e origine.

Di questo genere – ignorandone ovviamente l’esistenza – avevo già letto alcuni racconti di Kelly Link (che però non mi sento di consigliare, per me sono stati troppo inconsistenti), ma il GdL mi ha dato la possibilità di conoscere nuovi autori e affascinanti testi e di scoprire appartenenti al genere anche romanzi di scrittori più classici tanto amati.

E’ un genere che più di altri mi affascina per le atmosfere da sogno in cui ci si trova a vivere, il quotidiano con un pizzico di stranezza a renderlo speciale.

Alcune delle precedenti recensioni ricadono nel genere, lo splendido La camera di sangue e altre storie di Angela Carter (di cui leggerò ancora, oh sì!), Cuckoo Song di Frances Hardinge (che a mio parere rientra nel genere), e altre ne ricadranno, tra cui La ragazza con la gonna in fiamme di Aimee Bender e Mr. Fox di Helen Oyeyemi.

Magic Realism


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This month the  YA group is about the exploration of the “magic realism” genre, so these books where magical elements (or folklore or supernatural ones, etc..) are contextualized in the real life without issues about their nature or origin.

In this sense – without being conscious – I read some stories by Kelly Link (books I do not feel about advising, too much inconsistent for me), but the reading group gave me the chance to know new authors and wonderful books – and to discover that loved classic writer also belong to this category.

The books falling into this category fascinate me (exceptions excluded) for the dream-like atmospheres they describe, the real with something strange to make it special.

Some of my previous comments are about this genre, the amazing The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter (I will read more from her, oh yeah), Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge (I think it falls in the category), and other will come, like The Girl in the Flammable Skirt by Aimee Bender and Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi.