An Invisible Sign of My Own: A Novel by Aimee Bender

By Aimee Bender

Aimee Bender’s wonderful debut assortment, The woman within the Flammable Skirt, proved her to be one of many most up to date voices in American fiction. Now, in her first novel, she builds on that early promise.

Mona grey used to be ten whilst her father shriveled a mysterious disease and she or he grew to become a quitter, forsaking every one of her abilities simply as excitement grew to become extreme. the single factor she can’t cease doing is math: She knocks on wooden, provides her steps, and multiplies humans within the park opposed to each other. while Mona starts educating math to second-graders, she reveals a prepared viewers. however the tough and lovely proof of lifestyles continue intruding. She unearths herself attracted to the recent technology instructor, who has an unnerving approach of seeing via her intricately equipped façade. Bender brilliantly directs her characters, giving them unforeseen emotional intensity and surroundings them in a calamitous international, either fancifully surreal and startlingly established.

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Estudou seis anos, gostava dos Prelúdios... A professora sabia que eu era órfão, mas nunca havia mencionado o nome de minha mãe. Ficamos em silêncio por alguns segundos; ela se levantou, me acompanhou até o portão, fez uma pergunta como se fosse uma despedida: Teu tio cuida bem de ti? Pouco tempo depois, quando eu pensava em deixar a cidade, fui com tio Ran ao teatro Amazonas, onde dona Steinway daria um recital. Insisti em chegar cedo, queria achar lugar na primeira fila, bem perto do palco. O teatro estaria lotado e eu fazia questão de que a professora notasse minha presença.

Quando voltava de suas viagens misteriosas, me trazia presentes embrulhados com desleixo em papel de padaria. Nunca soube por que ele viajava tanto. Numa sexta-feira incerta, dizia de supetão: Embarco de noitinha, mas daqui a dois dias estamos juntos. Não queria que o acompanhasse ao porto, despedidas solenes dão azar, ele brincava. Via meu tio segurando uma sacola de lona e pensava que ele nunca mais ia voltar. Pensava nisso até na presença dele; na verdade, tinha medo de que ele fosse embora para sempre.

A descida foi lenta e penosa; mas não foi a fadiga que lhe sacudiu o corpo quando ele pisou no tapete do térreo. Seu Álvaro percebeu que essa súbita convulsão independia de sua idade e intuiu que algo fatídico aconteceria na manhã chuvosa. A porta da entrada, entreaberta, era um sinal de invasão? Lá fora, um dos barcos de bronze flutuava no centro da praça e as asas de um anjo submerso pareciam uma âncora solta no espaço. O vigia empurrou a porta com o cano da arma; depois notou no piso uma mancha vermelha que desaparecia na sala de espetáculos.

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