As a child, Aimee Bender enjoyed reading fairy tales, particularly the stories of Hans Christian Andersen. She began creating her own stories, and later, as an elementary school teacher, she enjoyed telling her students both traditional fairy tales and stories she had made up herself. Eventually, she began writing short stories, which have been published in a variety of magazines, including Granta, GQ, Story, and The Antioch Review. Her first book, The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, a collection of her stories, was published in 1998. Bender's work is intended for adults rather than children, but many of her short stories could be described as contemporary fairy tales. Bender's stories often include some of the same elements that she enjoyed encountering in fairy tales, such as of magic, fantasy, surprise, humor, and absurdity. Although she has found success as a writer, Bender continues to teach because she enjoys the interaction with others and feels she needs that contact to balance the solitude that is required for her writing. In addition to teaching elementary school, she has taught in the UCLA Extension Writers' Program and in the writing program at the University of California at Irvine, where she received her M.F.A. Bender lives in Los Angeles.