'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

We couldn't be happier that Carmen Maria Machado's electrifying Her Body and Other Parties is on the Dylan Thomas Prize shortlist 2018. It's a gorgeous, mesmerising collection of stories, and to celebrate we've got the first story, The Husband Stitch, for you to read right now - scroll down to see it.

dylan thomas prize 2018 shortlist

In her provocative debut, Carmen Maria Machado demolishes the borders between magical realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism. Startling narratives map the realities of women's lives and the violence visited on their bodies, both in myth and in practice.

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 sales clerk 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. Bodies become inconsequential, humans become monstrous, and anger becomes erotic.

A dark, shimmering slice into womanhood, Her Body and Other Parties is wicked and exquisite. Do let us know what you think on our Twitter @SerpentsTail -- or Carmen's Twitter at @CarmenMMachado.

Read an extract

Read the first story in the collection, The Husband Stitch, by downloading a PDF or clicking below.