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Her Body And Other Parties

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Imprint: Serpent's Tail
Pages: 256
Subject: Fiction

Her Body And Other Parties

Carmen Maria Machado

Wonderful and terrible humans skulk in the myths of Carmen Maria Machado's genre-bending debut - perfect for fans of Angela Carter's Fairy Tales

Hardback(Out of stock)
9781781259528 (14 Dec 2017)

About the book


'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

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 salesclerk 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.

About the author

Carmen Maria Machado is a fiction writer, critic, and essayist whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Guernica, Electric Literature, The Paris Review, AGNI, NPR, Gulf Coast, Los Angeles Review of Books, VICE, and elsewhere. Her Body and Other Parties was shortlisted for the National Book Awards Fiction Prize 2017.She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the Michener-Copernicus Foundation, the Elizabeth George Foundation, the CINTAS Foundation, the Speculative Literature Foundation, the University of Iowa and the Millay Colony for the Arts. She is the Artist in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, and lives in Philadelphia with her partner.


Her Body and Other Parties is a love letter to an obstinate genre that won't be gentrified. It's a wild thing, this book, covered in sequins and scales, blazing with the influence of fabulists from Angela Carter to Kelly Link and Helen Oyeyemi, and borrowing from science fiction, queer theory and horror... Not since Karen Russell's "St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves," in 2006, has a debut collection of short stories from a relatively unknown author garnered such attention, or deserved it more.

- Parul Sehgal, New York Times

Brilliant and unsettling ... Machado ranks alongside Shirley Jackson and Margaret Atwood, and she brings all her (there should be a woman's word to replace "mastery") formidable skills to bear in this tale of the rent fabric of women's lives ... Machado's narrators are articulate and thoughtful, with vivid internal lives. But she's sharp enough at capturing the messiness of ordinary human behaviour to distinguish one character from the next, keeping the stories distinct and marking each with flares of stark beauty. Machado has rare gifts, disciplined by years of writing short stories for magazines, and her literary fearlessness has already been recognised in the US, where this collection was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Awards. The stories in Her Body and Other Parties, on the vulnerability and the appetites of women, their transgressions and their disappearances, have the depth of fairy tales and the grim acid rasp of the best horror fiction. You cannot wait for her to tell more of them.

- Financial Times

Brilliantly inventive and blazingly smart, these stories have the life-and-death stakes of nightmares and fairy tales; they're full of urgent, almost unbearable reality. Carmen Machado is an extraordinary writer, an essential voice

- Garth Greenwell

The stories in Her Body and Other Parties vibrate with originality, queerness, sensuality and the strange. Her voracious imagination and extraordinary voice beautifully bind these stories about fading women and the end of the world and men who want more when they've been given everything and bodies, so many human bodies taking up space and straining the seams of skin in impossible, imperfect, unforgettable ways

- Roxane Gay

Machado's verve shines through: macabre, erotic, and never quite what they initially seem, these aren't stories that are easily dismissed.

- Lucy Scholes, Independent

Additional Information

Imprint: Serpent's Tail
Pages: 256
Subject: Fiction

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