When Mona Gray is ten, her father contracts a mysterious illness. His gradual withdrawal from everyday life marks a similar change in Mona, who removes herself from anything - or anyone - that might bring her happiness. Numbers provide a kind of solace, and help her make sense of the world: she counts words in her head, adds her steps, and multiplies people in the park against one another. As a maths teacher, Mona delights her pupils by encouraging them to find objects that take the form of numbers. But when seven-year-old Lisa appears with a zero that displays real turmoil, Mona knows that in order to help a person in pain, she needs to find a way to connect with the world she has been afraid of for so long.
An Invisible Sign of My Own is a story about children and adults, and how we protect ourselves from the things we fear the most. It is about superstition and logic and the big muddy area in between. Written with the same eloquence and flair that characterisesThe Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, this novel marks the sign of a unique talent in contemporary fiction.
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Intelligent and engaging ... [A] fanciful and original take on the quietly helter-skelter world that lies within - The New York Times
An achingly idiosyncratic story rendered with eloquence, hilarity, and ominous precision - Boston Globe
Light as a zephyr and unique as a snowflake - The Washington Post
Fantastic! Bender has a perfect pitch. Her stories are fierce and true - LA Times
Clever, original and written with brio and eloquence... Bender writes like an angel, with images that strike resonant chords, and her sly humour pervades every page. - Publishers Weekly
Incendiary - New York Times Book 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 -
Aimee Bender writes in a skillfully minimal way, everything very tight and poignant and sharp and often burning, quick to get to things and out of them, but still providing us with significant characters of emotional depth -
AIMEE BENDER is the author of the novel The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake and of the collections The Girl in the Flammable Skirt and Wilful Creatures. Her work has been widely anthologised and has been translated into ten languages. She lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Aimee Bender and her work at www.flammableskirt.com.