Her Body and Other Parties: Stories (Paperback)
These stories reach in and grab you by the bones. In turns sexy, vibrant, raw, and weird, it's hard to believe so immaculate a collection is a debut. As lyrical as Angela Carter, as unnerving as Kelly Link, Carmen Maria Machado has instantly become one of my favorite authors.— From Devon D. Staff Picks
To put it simply, this is a insane and wild ride that I think every person should get on. This collection of short stories left me with the perfect amount of chills and questions.
-- Josh— From Josh H. Staff Picks
It’s a good sign when you finish a book and find yourself thinking about it days later. But I finished Her Body and Other Parties months ago and I still think about it all the time. The women in Machado’s stories experience prejudice, violence, and horrors of all kinds, but they are not defined or destroyed by it. They are ruthless, fierce, and real, and they fight back. This is one of the scariest and most important short story collections I’ve ever read.
-- Haley— From Haley P. Staff Picks
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.
About the Author
Carmen Maria Machado's work has appeared in Granta, The New Yorker, NPR, Electric Literature, and elsewhere. She has been nominated for a Nebula Award and a Shirley Jackson Award, and was a finalist for the Calvino Prize. She lives in Philadelphia.