Thursday, October 17, 2019

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

Her Body and Other Parties
by Carmen Maria Machado

Published: 2017
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Genre: Short Stories, Horror, LGBTQ, Feminism
Paperback: 248
Rating: 4

The Husband Stitch
Especially Heinous
Real Women Have Bodies
Eight Bites
The Resident
Difficult At Parties

Zombie sighting:
And so as we digested, we looked at Diego's drawings, several panels of a dystopian world ruled by zombies thirsty for knowledge. -The Resident, page 201

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.

My two-bits:
Creepy twist in regards to issues women face with the body and harassment.

After the Especially Heinous story, I am curious to check out a couple episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.


* monthly theme: True Crime, Hunger, Horror, Harassment
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