Aimee Bender’s The Color Master is rife with these satisfying and unexpected details, the joyfully weird take for which she’s become known. As in her other collections, Bender creates worlds that stretch human traits beyond their humanness, and in so doing, she shines light on our obsessions, our fears, and our desire to discover meaning in our own existence. Here is the parable of a woman whose hair shines like wheat; the story of a surgeon, deft hands mending tigers split open by a mysterious force in the jungle; the somber tale of a “Fake Nazi” who inspires a secretary’s personal journey to find truth; the family’s attempt to understand why their house fills mysteriously with objects they do not buy. While Bender writes of otherworldly beings and ogre wives, she weaves together threads of humanity. Her use of the magical allows her closer proximity to the emotional.