Aimee Bender is an American novelist and short story writer, known for her surreal plots and characters. Bender received her undergraduate degree from UC San Diego, and her MFA from UC Irvine. She currently teaches creative writing at USC and heads a class in surrealist writing at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. She has named Oscar Wilde, Hans Christian Andersen, the Brothers Grimm and Anne Sexton as influences on her writing. Her first book was The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, a short story collection published in 1998, which was chosen as a NYT Notable Book of 1998 and spent 7 weeks on the L.A. Times bestseller list. Her novel An Invisible Sign of My Own was published in 2000, and was named as an L.A. Times pick of the year. In 2005 she published another short story collection, Willful Creatures, which was nominated by The Believer magazine as one of the best books of the year. Her works have been published in Granta, GQ, Harper’s, Tin House, McSweeney’s, The Paris Review, and several anthologies. She has also been heard on This American Life and Selected Shorts. Bender has received two Pushcart Prizes, and was nominated for the James Tiptree, Jr. Award in 2005. We are more than honored to present this stellar author here at SF in SF.