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Carmen Maria Machado's stories are like nothing I've ever read (although I can say that they put me in an Angela Carter & Kelly Link sort of MOOD, the best sort of mood). These stories are otherwordly and genre-bending, absolutely, but also sexy and visceral and pointed. They don't just let the darkness lurk in the corners, they pull it into the light, see how it feels in the body, open it up to reveal both the violence and tenderness inside. This is a brilliantly crafted collection and will be deeply satisfying for readers interested in the subconscious horrors that are present with us always.— From Kelsey's Picks
Grotesque, unflinching, Carmen Maria Machado gives words to things I don't know that I wanted words to. Capturing the female experience better than any I've read, I felt represented and normative, albeit, sick to my stomach. Must read, especially for survivors - but give yourself time with it and space from it. If every man read this book the world would be a much better place.— From Ashley
Finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction
" These stories] vibrate with originality, queerness, sensuality and the strange."--Roxane Gay
"In these formally brilliant and emotionally charged tales, Machado gives literal shape to women's memories and hunger and desire. I couldn't put it down."--Karen Russell
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 naively assumed had shown it all, generating a phantasmagoric police procedural full of doppelgangers, 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.