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Her Body and Other Parties Summary and Reviews

Her Body and Other Parties

Stories

by Carmen Maria Machado

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado X
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2017
    248 pages
    Genre: Short Stories/Essays

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Book Summary

A highly anticipated debut by "one of the most ferociously gifted young writers working today." (Michelle Huneven)

In Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado blithely demolishes the arbitrary borders between psychological realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism. While her work has earned her comparisons to Karen Russell and Kelly Link, she has a voice that is all her own. In this electric and provocative debut, Machado bends genre to shape startling narratives that map the realities of women's lives and the violence visited upon their bodies.

A wife refuses her husband's entreaties to remove the green ribbon from around her neck. A woman recounts her sexual encounters as a plague slowly consumes humanity. A salesclerk in a mall makes a horrifying discovery within the seams of the store's prom dresses. One woman's surgery-induced weight loss results in an unwanted houseguest. And in the bravura novella "Especially Heinous," Machado reimagines every episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a show we naïvely assumed had shown it all, generating a phantasmagoric police procedural full of doppelgängers, ghosts, and girls with bells for eyes.

Earthy and otherworldly, antic and sexy, queer and caustic, comic and deadly serious, Her Body and Other Parties swings from horrific violence to the most exquisite sentiment. In their explosive originality, these stories enlarge the possibilities of contemporary fiction.

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Book Awards

  • award image National Book Critics Circle Award, 2017
  • award image Indie Booksellers’ Choice Awards, 2018

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Machado writes with furious grace. She plays with form and expectation in ways that are both funny and elegant but never obscure. ... An exceptional and pungently inventive first book." - Kirkus

"Starred Review. Machado creates eerie, inventive worlds shimmering with supernatural swerves in this engrossing debut collection. Her stories make strikingly feminist moves by combining elements of horror and speculative fiction with women's everyday crises." - Publishers Weekly

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Author Information

Carmen Maria Machado Author Biography

Photo: Art Streiber / AUGUST

Carmen Maria Machado is the author of the memoir In the Dream House and the short story collection Her Body and Other Parties. She has been a finalist for the National Book Award and the winner of the Bard Fiction Prize, the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction, the Brooklyn Public Library Literature Prize, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Prize. In 2018, the New York Times listed Her Body and Other Parties as a member of "The New Vanguard," one of "15 remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century."

Her essays, fiction, and criticism have appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Granta, Harper's Bazaar, Tin House, VQR, Conjunctions, McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, The Believer, ...

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