Her Body and Other Parties

Her Body and Other Parties

Stories

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
8
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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 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.

Publisher: Minneapolis, Minnesota :, Graywolf Press,, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781555977887
Branch Call Number: FIC MAC
Characteristics: 245 pages ; 21 cm

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I wanted to like this book, and don't get me wrong there were short stories I did enjoy. However that was only two or three. The rest were just a little abstract for my tastes. I did like the fact that there were diverse relationships. Also The Inventory was probably my favourite story in the collect.

That being said I think the meta experience that was based on Law & Order: SVU really killed my moment and ultimately this this book just wasn't my thing but if you like the absurdly weird stories might be worth a shot.

e
excaliburrom
Mar 02, 2018

Really good, sexually charged, dark, weird fiction. Lots of interesting stories and ideas in this collection. A Must-Read. REALLY didn't like the law & order story, but everyone else seems to love it, and the other stories are amazing, so make up for that one dud.

KateHillier Feb 19, 2018

Here be a whole bunch of really weird stories. A writer's retreat to the protagonist's old Girl Scout Camp takes that old Brownie rhyme to the max. Dresses with the last material you would expect. A woman with a green ribbon around her neck that she will not let her husband touch. A story of a pandemic of some kind told through a list of sexual encounters. Everything is weird and unsettling no matter how innocuous the story. I loved every second of it.

k
kathylou
Jan 23, 2018

some very clever stories but way too much sex (a lot of it pretty sad too) for my taste. I like a little sex in a story but don't enjoy a short story collection that is pretty much just stories about sex.

SPL_Liz Jan 11, 2018

The stories that I loved from this book I really loved. They are rich with imagery and addressed larger questions of love, motherhood, ageing, body image, mental health, and feminism. I found her writing captivating and her stories elicited a lot of different feelings. I had to slow down to read them. Some I enjoyed reading a second time. Some I can't stop thinking about. Much of her writing is sexually explicit. Very good writing. Pretty dark subject matter.

m
made_up_name
Nov 15, 2017

This trashy work of short stories is nothing but pornography.

d
dcbrunelle
Nov 14, 2017

Remarkable writing applied to stories which did not have much appeal for me. Too many first-person narrators relating stories of self-defeat and self-loathing. Most of these tales have a heavy undercurrent of rather obsessive sexuality. I'm not prude but I would have preferred variety.

l
laphampeak
Nov 04, 2017

Inventive and imaginative. Each story as creative and interesting as the next.

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