@UCSD: An Alumni Publication

An Alumni Publication   Archive vol1no3 Contact
 
Up Front: Letters to and from the editor
Shelf Life: Books
Cliff Notes: Student life and sports
Class Notes: Alumni profiles
Giving
Looking Back: Thoughts on UCSD
Credits: Staff and Contributors
Features
Interview with the Chancellor
Fogcutters
RAE: A Poet Post-Pulitzer
Car Talk
Movie Maven
Campus Currents
Penguins in Peril
Boundless Birch
Flash Gordon
Stamp of Approval
As Smelled on TV
Toxic Colors
Bio-fuel Accelerator
Tissue Engineering
Name that Worm
3D Pyramid Scheme
More
Archive
 

 

Class Notes May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2

Aimee Bender, Revelle '91

Wordless Inspiration. Award-winning author Aimee Bender, Revelle '91, first thought of herself as a writer at age 7. But by the time she was a teenager, she was no longer comfortable with the idea.

"It took me a while to feel entitled to take writing seriously," says Bender, whose latest novel, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake (Doubleday, 2010), is a national best seller. "After my first book came out, I thought 'Well, it's now factual.' That felt so enormous and surprising to me. It's not an easy thing to proclaim to be a writer."

Bender is known for surrealist stories that demonstrate her playful writing style and flair for language. Her short fiction has appeared in magazines ranging from GQ to The Paris Review and her first book, The Girl in the Flammable Skirt (Anchor, 1998), was named a New York Times Notable Book.

"I write in a very wandering way … it's more of an unconscious process," she says. "Through all of the drudgery, there are moments where surprise happens. It's thrilling, exhilarating."

Bender devotes two hours every day to writing. Her rule is to just sit there and write—wisdom she also imparts to her creative writing students as an associate professor of English at USC.

"I used to dread writing. But now it's built into the day. A lot of it is about waiting," says Bender. "Sometimes the things that inspire you the most are wordless."