Her Body and Other Parties - Carmen Maria Machado 👗
Carmen Maria Machado blithely demolishes the arbitrary borders between psychological realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism. Machado bends genre to shape startling narratives that map the realities of women’s lives and the violence visited upon their bodies.
I don’t often read short stories - but I jumped on the hype train for this one and I’m so glad. Machado’s writing is pretty phenomenal, and her imagination is quirky, fascinating and astonishing. .
I usually don’t enjoy short stories because there’s no chance to get involved with the characters - but I was hooked into each story straight away, and they were all interesting in their own way. (Even the Law and Order one was great and horrifying, and I know nothing about the show.) I also loved the unquestioned slips into the fantastical, and similarly the normalisation of queer female relationships. Machado never felt the need to emphasise either of these elements, but they were nonetheless a strong and vital presence throughout the book.
These stories and Machado’s writing definitely live up to the rave reviews, and it’s so great to see such a fiercely queer book get such a good (and deserved) reputation around the world. .
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