Aimee Bender

Distinguished Professor Award

Distinguished Professor of English
Director of the Ph.D. Program in Creative Writing and Literature
USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

An incredibly talented novelist and storyteller, Aimee Bender illuminates the emotional intensity of everyday life through her prose. Her inimitable style—a juxtaposition of contemporary realism and surrealist fantasy—invites us to contemplate the divine mysteries concealed in everything we take for granted. Professor Bender’s devotion to her craft has provided her peers and students with a liberating frame of reference for their own personal expression.

Professor Bender has cultivated a diverse and influential literary career for more than two decades. Saturated with sensory detail, her artistic voice clearly resonates with a broad audience. Her novels and short story collections have earned considerable acclaim, including her noted bestsellers The Girl in the Flammable Skirt and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. Her short fiction frequently appears in publications such as GQ, Harper’s, and The Paris Review, and has been featured on the radio programs This American Life and Selected Shorts.

Professor Bender enjoys a significant level of renown in the literary community. Her accolades include two Pushcart Prizes, as well as the American Library Association’s Alex Award. She also supports several nonprofit organizations that promote creative literacy, and was named Mentor of the Year for emerging writers by Pen Center USA. Indeed, Professor Bender continually inspires others to awaken their sense of discovery, and appreciate the uncanny beauty of our world.

For her evocative approach to fiction writing, and her dedication to artistic outreach, the University of Southern California proudly recognizes Aimee Bender as a Distinguished Professor of English at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.