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Her Body and Other Parties: Stories

Her Body and Other Parties: Stories

Did you binge-watch ten seasons of Law & Order SVU when you were unemployed? Revisit it here in phantasmagorical vignettes written as episode summaries. Benson is haunted by the ghosts of girls with bells for eyes, and Stabler begins hearing the dun-DUN reverberating through the earth. It's funnier and sadder and more horrifying than anything Dick Wolfe could ever have conceived of.

Remember that story from In a Dark, Dark Room that you read in fourth grade about the girl with the green ribbon around her neck? That story never really left you, it turns out. It haunted you at the back of your mind all these years, and now you can read the grown-up version in Machado's collection.

Rachel S.

See all my recommendations »

Author Carmen Maria Machado
Publisher Graywolf Press
Publication Date 2017-10-03
Section Fiction / New Titles - Paperback / All Staff Suggestions / Fiction Suggestions / Rachel S.
Type New
Format Paperback
ISBN 9781555977887

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 naïvely assumed had shown it all, generating a phantasmagoric police procedural full of doppelgängers, 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.

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