The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

NPR has a review and excerpt of Aimee Bender’s second novel, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake.

Aimee Bender gave an excellent craft talk at last year’s MFA Residency in Forest Grove in which she discussed two different approaches to plot– one in which character is revealed through what a protagonist does (most modern literature) and an older tradition in which character is revealed through what happens to the protagonist (fairy tales). She then examined how this second approach could often reflect the protagonist’s inner self more accurately than a realistic plot and how the suspension of disbelief inherent in “magical” events and objects allows access to deeper currents of the human condition than is possible through realism. It was one of the best craft talks of the residency and I often refer back to the notes I took.

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