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A New York Times Notable Book of 2013
A traumatic event unfolds when a girl with hair the color of golden wheat appears in an apple orchard; a woman plays out a fantasy with her husband and finds she cannot go back to her old sex life; an ugly woman marries an ogre and struggles to decide if she should stay with him after he mistakenly eats their children; and two sisters travel deep into Malaysia, where one learns the art of mending tigers who have been ripped to shreds.
In each of The Color Master's fifteen remarkable stories, Aimee Bender holds a funhouse mirror up to reality, proving, once again, that she is one of the most intelligent and imaginative writers of our time.
“Tales that dazzle, confound, electrify, disturb, incriminate and empathize. . . . [The Color Master] is absurd. It is remarkable. It induces mental whiplash.” —The Chicago Tribune
“At a time when realism reigns supreme over the literary landscape, one can argue it is absolutely imperative that Aimee Bender be spotlighted for what she is: a vital MVP of modern letters, period.” —Los Angeles Times
"Along with the idiosyncratic George Saunders, Bender now stands as one of the reigning masters of the eccentric American short story.” —Alan Cheuse, NPR
“There are other writers working in this vein . . . but Bender may be the funniest and loosest of the lot and also, perhaps, the one most attuned to the poignant emotional distances between people (and ogres).” —The Washington Post
“Each work is a jewel. . . . The Color Master is a treat, full of tales that are satisfyingly complete while over too soon, leaving the reader wanting more.” —The Denver Post
“Longtime readers will enjoy watching Bender get older and use her whimsical storytelling to address big issues.” —The Forward
“No one has updated the fairy tale quite like Bender.” —The Toronto Star
“This is Bender at her best, using her signature style to reveal (and perhaps overcome) the obstacles that keep us from understanding each other.” —The Miami Herald
“In Aimee Bender's short stories, the value of life is measured in terms of goodness, succulence and simplicity, all qualities that can be tasted, chewed and ultimately swallowed by the mouth or the mind.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Readers of Aimee Bender’s short fiction have come to expect the extraordinary—whether it’s a tale’s surprising premise or its masterful conclusions, Bender rarely disappoints. In her latest, she provides more of the unexpected situations and fast-paced eloquence of her previous accomplishments.” —Time Out New York
“Full of humor, wit, and pathos, The Color Master is the work of a writer with a strong, distinctive point of view, and with enough confidence to let it lead her into fresh and exciting places.” —The Boston Globe
“Dazzlingly dreamlike. . . . Savory and sublime. . . . So many of Bender’s sentences both settle and unsettle, and deserve to be read aloud for pure pleasure.” —Oprah.com
“Aimee Bender shows off her skill in so many different modes of storytelling that the most prominent unifying element might be virtuosity itself. . . . The Color Master is a lesson in almost every mode of the short story and shouldn’t be missed.” —The Daily Beast
“Finds something that touches true magic.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Bender creates worlds that stretch human traits beyond their humanness, and in so doing, she shines light on our obsessions, our fears, and our desire to discover meaning in our own existence. . . . Full of joy.” —The Rumpus
“Compelling and provocative.” —Bookreporter
“Aimee Bender is one of the most original storytellers of our time. Her fiction resides in some sort of netherworld akin to the most profound Dali painting. . . . Sure to delight and devastate readers once again.” —The Patriot Ledger
“You know how some people feel about Neil Gaiman? Or Joss Whedon? Or Alan Moore? That level of evangelical-superchurch-backwoods-speaking-in-tongues fandom? That’s how I feel about Aimee Bender and her short stories. They’re the weirdest and most wonderful modern fables.” —Kit Steinkellner, BookRiot.com