Reading the stories in Her Body and Other Parties has been among the memorable literary pleasures of 2017. Carmen Maria Machado writes with fearless exploration, precision, and tenderness that would prompt envy if gratitude and admiration weren’t first to arrive on the scene. From the lovely, apocalyptic love story “Inventory” to the dizzying and original “Especially Heinous,” Machado’s work is curious, inventive, and thrilling. It’s feminist and pop culture, classic and weird; the stories are complex and the characters are haunting. What a debut!— Chorel
Carmen Maria Machado is entrancing - a beautiful, surreal, divine storywriter in the tradition of Helen Oyeyemi and Kelly Link. "The Husband Stitch" rattled my bones and was so fully engaging, a beautiful fairytale style of writing mingled with dark, contemporary grit, upending a well-known folktale's moment of fantastical horror to offer true-to-life implication about gender, ownership, and individual sovereignty. The second piece, "Mothers," is equally stunning, taking on the charater's perspective so fully that her own confusion and denial transforms into something like magical realism. The factual plot reaches out through a haze of the narrating character's longing, loss, and unreality to tug you in as a reader and ultimately slap you in the face. Who writes like this, so expertly bringing forward the darkest and most marginalized perspectives as beautiful and real in a surreal world? I love it. Postmodern, deftly woven, and an utter joy to read, I am so grateful for this talented author's debut.— a.c.
2020 VISION: Vision—As a surrealist treatment of modern society and its relationship to the female body, Carmen Maria Machado’s short story collection explores the power women’s bodies hold, and how that power can be yielded to expand the potentials of human experience.