Carmen Maria Machado's debut is a showcase of social commentary with an experimental & unsettling edge. The standouts for me were “Inventory“ (I don't want to say too much, but what appears to be a mere recounting of amorous encounters takes an unexpected turn), “Especially Heinous: 272 Views of Law & Order SVU“ (as I mentioned in a previous post this is Law & Order as directed by David Lynch) & “Eight Bites“ (about a Gastric Sleeve Surgery that
I know that this long story (almost 60 pages) is divisive, but I thought it was really interesting! Using actual SVU episode titles, Machado spins an unsettling & surreal narrative that is more David Lynch's Twin Peaks than Dick Wolf's Law & Order.
Great collection of short stories. The only story I wasn't a fan of was the Law & Order SUV, but the others were great. This is a diverse collection that contains themes of magical realism, horror, humor, and a lot of originality.
The first and last stories in the collection were my favorite.
Machado's writing is art. Every single story had something to offer, and something to relate to. The author hits the whole spectrum of consequential female existence, specifically through the lense of queer women.
It's a rather short collection, but I took my time to savor and ponder every word. I've added In the Dream House to my TBR, and I really hope we get another collection soon.
Yet another 5⭐️ read for 2022 💜
A writer goes to a retreat in the woods and is forced to face herself. As a lifelong Girl Scout, and having camped at places similar to the one described in the story, it was a neat visualization to add to the story. As a writer, too, yet another one I can put myself into.
#scarathlon #scarathlon2021 #teamhendrix #spookoweenreadathon #screamathon #readlikehellathon #readwithus #allhallowseveathon #wickedathon
I bought this book after a professor had us read “The Husband Stitch” for a Hauntings and Horrors literature class. I won‘t lie, it did get a little slow there in the middle, and all the stories made my head feel fuzzy, but I did enjoy all of them in some way or another. The Husband Stitch is, imho, the best of them, but a good read regardless.
#scarathalon #scarathlon2021 #teamhendrix
This feels relevant, especially with the happenings in Texas, but it could also be applied to any female-presenting issue. Bodily rights, being transgender, or just living as a woman, this story rings more true the more I contemplate it.
#scarathlon #scarathlon2021 #teamhendrix #spookoweenreadathon #screamathon #wickedathon
This wasn't bad. The first story was my favourite though. A retelling of The Girl With the Green Ribbon. The reimagining of every season of Law & Order SVU was....interesting. I do enjoy this author though. She always has a unique take.
#screamathon Week 2 Challenge
Non team theme: 8x5=40pts
This was another one that just wasn't for me. Which made me sad, as I had been wanting to read it for a long time. But 🤷♀️ that's okay. There are plenty of books that do seem to be written with me in mind, and life's too short to dredge through the ones I'm not vibing with!
I really enjoyed most of these short stories—“The Husband Stitch” and “Difficult at Parties” in particular—but I thought “Especially Heinous” was significantly too long. I also kept going back to this collection-opening quote, and felt like the helplessness within colored my reading more than Machado likely intended. Overall I‘d say this is a fairly interesting read, but probably a bit too interested in being “cerebral” for the sake thereof.
I enjoyed the first two stories in this collection with their mix of fairytale and magical realism. Then came the third story, 70+ pages and 50 of these about the TV series SUV and I never figured that one out, so she lost me. And then she lost me for a while until the last story that‘s really powerful.
Again I‘m doing a combined #BookReport and #WeeklyForecast
📚 Anne of the Windy Willows #KindredSpiritsBuddyRead
📚 The Death of Francis Bacon
📚 How to Stay Sane in an Age of Division
📚 Territory of Light
📚 The Duke and I
📚 A Village Life
📚 A Jane Austen Education
📚 The tagged short story collection
📚 Mansfield Park #PemberLittens
📚 The Ickabog #Ickabogalong
📚 Inside Out and Back Again
A combined #BookReport and #WeeklyForecast
I finished A Secret Sisterhood and The Group
Buddy reading The Ickabog, Mansfield Park and Anne of Windy Willows
I want to start reading A Village Life. I‘m also in the mood for some shorter reads and I hope to start the tagged short story collection. And like everybody else, I‘ve watched Bridgerton and want to read the book the series is based on. An overly ambitious tbr for the upcoming week
This Saturday I am a bit out of the Christmas atmosphere with these short stories, but this is only because I find the second half of the book title (which instead of “Other Parties“ has been translated “Other Pleasures/Indulgencies“), very evocative of the little pleasures of today's cozy winter morning 😊
This only got better after a reread. So much to unpack! Fairy tales, dystopias, uncanny doppelgangers and psychological terror that reads like realism - through these otherworldy elements and settings, Machado explores our world, which condemns (queer) women's fears, desires and bodies while bringing them to the forefront and celebrating them for the force that they carry.
No fault of the writer, it's totally me... way too much sex and not enough horror for me. @Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick, definitely check this one out!!
Give me blood and guts and I don't bat an eye... give me sex and I'm instantly uncomfortable!!!
Gonna try and push through the stories but the first one has me squirming!!!
Am behind on posting about some of the books I‘ve finished in the past few weeks (though it‘s a small number given the all consuming political climate in the US). My focus has been totally shot up until the last few days 🥴 Anyway, I loved most of the stories in this weird little collection, but a few of them fell really flat and dragged. But worth reading on the whole - searing takes on the female body in society with a magical realism bent.
"Afterward, she traced the indents in my skin from the harness, and confessed to me that no one was having any luck developing a vaccine. 'But the fucking thing is only passing through physical contact,' she said. 'If people would just stay apart--' She grew silent. She curled up next to me and we drifted off."
Unexpected pandemic content hitting me HARD tonight. ?
Truly a fascinating and yet uncomfortable read at times, which I think was Machado's intent so well done. A good one for the espooky season. Couldn't help but get caught up in the language. And I loved that every story was basically just a long winded metaphor for the harm the patriarchy does to women. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Read a few stories out of this anthology. The Husband Stitch was really well crafted and wove in a handful of urban myths and folklore perfect for the season. All stories seem to comment on women‘s struggles, coming of age/aging in general, and sexuality. Interesting stories for interesting times.
76pts for #teamharkness #scarathlon2020
I always have such a hard time rating short story collections because some stories I absolutely loved other I didn't care for at all so I always and I mean always end up with a 3 star rating an while this one was no different the stories I liked especially the very first one which I absolutely loved. The supernatural elements tied into the very real horror of what happens to womens bodies really stuck with me.
I get why people like this one, but it just wasn‘t for me. I think it felt a little too much like contemporary fiction in a horror disguise and I was expecting far more horrifying things. Maybe the kind of everyday violence against women has ceased to be horror for me?
+6 for #teamslaughter
I'm so sorry that I forgot the last two weeks' prompts! It's the final stretch of campaign season here in the US and I am swamped, both with work and with stress/emotions/anxiety. 😬
However, it's also my favorite time of year -- OCTOBER! I'm tagging one of my favorite spooky short story collections by an AOC. If you haven't read it, it would be a great choice for #scarathlon2020!
Started this one a few days ago and just haven't made much progress due to lack of attention span but hoping to dive real deep into it this week. Have enjoyed the prose so far. #amreadinglatinx #amreadinghorror #carmenmariamachado
Book of short stories about the darker shadows of womanhood and the battles of living in a female body. The stories are unsettling, erotic, eerie, and from a decidedly queer POV. While the stories rarely follow a linear path, they are strangely compelling. Even in the most surreal tales, I found moments that I thought, “Oh yes, I understand that feeling.” Definitely not for everyone, but interesting if you want to venture off the beaten path.
The most impactful book I've read this year for sure. Started on a wild note with an essay about a pandemic that sweeps the US. Appropriately bizarre note for this book to start on. Such a clear voice and minimal embellishment but sets the vibe impeccably. Would love to see this on the curriculum for a gender studies lit class.
“When you think about it, stories have this way of running together like raindrops in a pool. Each is borne from the clouds separate, but once they have come together, there is no way to tell them apart.”
I am so glad I finally picked up this book. Each story hits differently but they all hit hard. Add this to your TBR if you haven‘t yet, it is excellent.
Carmen Maria Machado‘s ability to write is other worldly. Her ambiguous style throughout almost every story is partly responsible for both my feeling of uncertainty and the reason I‘m calling her utterly brilliant!
She leaves room for uncertainty. The stories are about women—and through a myriad of genres, she explores what that often feels like which sometimes includes being made to question oneself. This whole book feels like a nod to womanhood.
Gothic erotic queer short stories. Is that the first time those descriptors have been grouped together? This collection was a National Book Award Finalist, and author Machado is a gifted writer. As with many short story collections, some were stronger than others. “The Husband Stitch” is the story that stuck with me and gave me the shivers.
It's got heartbreak! It's got motherhood trauma! It's got an SVU fanfiction!
Her Body and Other Parties is a collection of eight supernatural adjacent stand-alone stories with each story featuring Queer women as the main character!
Machado's writing is funny, surreal, and personal. I give the collection itself ⭐⭐⭐/5 stars, BUT I had a particular connection to The Husband Stitch, Real Women Have Bodies, and Eight Bites! #LGBTQ #WLW #ShortStories
Machado ricochets from magical realism to horror to science fiction to comedy to fantasy to epistolary, so fast that the genres and tropes are pureed together into a very delicious pulp. As much as the stories vary, they make sense next to each other, forming a complete and cohesive collection that somehow leaves you (selfishly) wanting more. Full review: https://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/her-body-and-other-parties-carmen-maria-mac...