Her Body And Other Parties
Carmen Maria Machado
SHORTLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FICTION PRIZE 2017
SHORTLISTED FOR THE INTERNATIONAL DYLAN THOMAS PRIZE 2018
‘Brilliantly inventive and blazingly smart’ Garth Greenwell
‘Impossible, imperfect, unforgettable’ Roxane Gay
‘A wild thing … covered in sequins and scales, blazing with the influence of fabulists from Angela Carter to Kelly Link and Helen Oyeyemi’ New York Times
In her provocative debut, Carmen Maria Machado demolishes the borders between magical realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism.
A wife refuses her husband’s entreaties to remove the mysterious green ribbon from around her neck. A woman recounts her sexual encounters as a plague spreads across the earth. A salesclerk in a mall makes a horrifying discovery about a store’s dresses. One woman’s surgery-induced weight loss results in an unwanted house guest.
A dark, shimmering slice into womanhood, Her Body and Other Parties is wicked and exquisite.
Deliciously weird and dark and erotic and queer and smart and full of desire, and profoundly original, this is about the alienation of being a woman in a way you've never read before * The Pool * A writer of rare daring ... there's a ragged glory to [the stories'] formal experimentation and erotic fearlessness, and the gusto with which they reinvent horror, SF and fairytale tropes. -- Justine Jordan * Guardian * Her Body and Other Parties is a love letter to an obstinate genre that won't be gentrified. It's a wild thing, this book, covered in sequins and scales, blazing with the influence of fabulists from Angela Carter to Kelly Link and Helen Oyeyemi, and borrowing from science fiction, queer theory and horror... Not since Karen Russell's "St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves," in 2006, has a debut collection of short stories from a relatively unknown author garnered such attention, or deserved it more. -- Parul Sehgal * New York Times * Brilliant and unsettling ... Machado ranks alongside Shirley Jackson and Margaret Atwood, and she brings all her (there should be a woman's word to replace "mastery") formidable skills to bear in this tale of the rent fabric of women's lives ... Machado's narrators are articulate and thoughtful, with vivid internal lives. But she's sharp enough at capturing the messiness of ordinary human behaviour to distinguish one character from the next, keeping the stories distinct and marking each with flares of stark beauty. Machado has rare gifts, disciplined by years of writing short stories for magazines, and her literary fearlessness has already been recognised in the US, where this collection was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Awards. The stories in Her Body and Other Parties, on the vulnerability and the appetites of women, their transgressions and their disappearances, have the depth of fairy tales and the grim acid rasp of the best horror fiction. You cannot wait for her to tell more of them. * Financial Times * Those of us who knew have been waiting for a Carmen Maria Machado collection for years. Her stories show us what we really love and fear. -- Alexander Chee Machado's verve shines through: macabre, erotic, and never quite what they initially seem, these aren't stories that are easily dismissed. -- Lucy Scholes Daring ... Machado has created a provocative blend of fabulism, feminism, magic realism and lashings of sex. * Tatler * Striking ... spellbinding ... even the most banal settings become unnerving in Machado's pen, and her images linger with the reader long after the last page has been turned. Although her voice is invigoratingly fresh, Her Body and Other Parties never reads like a debut collection. Rather, it reads like a writer at the height of her powers - confident and assured, fearless and experimental ... it feels like discovering a well-kept secret you immediately want to share with everyone you know. -- Kaite Welsh * Diva *
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