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Her Body and Other Parties: Stories by…
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Her Body and Other Parties: Stories

by Carmen Maria Machado

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7434718,696 (3.98)68
  1. 10
    Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman (LAKobow)
  2. 00
    The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror by Daniel Mallory Ortberg (LAKobow)
    LAKobow: Feminist fairy tales/horror
  3. 00
    Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell (andomck)
  4. 00
    Unwelcome Bodies by Jennifer Pelland (crdf)
    crdf: Close related themes, but the author uses more science fiction methods to convey her ideas.
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» See also 68 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
Every now and then a writer comes along who not only takes masterful command of her medium but has the courage and artistry to penetrate the veil between the superficial world and the realm of the soul. Every once in a miraculous while the publishing world actually gives this writer to readers. In these stories, with authorative clarity, Machado pays homage to gothic horror, modern crime TV, the eerie legacy of the Brownies, the American family dream, and more, all the while also tearing all of it apart and basically showing us our own glistening entrails. Yet that makes the book sound awfully heavy--it is indeed thick with complexities and disturbance, but delicious to read, full of humor, eroticism, and ewwww-gross delights. ( )
  deeEhmm | Apr 3, 2019 |
Terrific collection with real bite. The long story reframing 12 seasons of Law & Order: SVU was actually the least successful for me, but many of the other shorts were impressive, uncomfortable and intriguing. I know it's tough for publishers to market short story collections, but I never mind a new collection from a fresh voice. ( )
  asxz | Mar 13, 2019 |
This was Santathing selection from two years ago - and I finally got around to reading it.

These types of books are always an odd one for me. I'm too literal to enjoy some of the stories. I appreciate what the author is doing, and I find the writing to be excellent, but stories that are metaphors for something else and never resolve to a concrete explanation always leave me a bit hanging.

On the other hand, there are stories I really enjoyed - specifically "Especially Heinous". I loved everything about it - the oddness of the setting, the ghost girls with Bells in their eyes, the doppelgangers. Its a really wonderful story.

So this is a volume I will be keeping and I hope to be giving it a second read. It really deserves the praise it has received. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Mar 7, 2019 |
What a great title for a book of stories about womens bodies and the varieties of ways they act and are acted upon - frightening, funny, inexplicable, to name just a few.

Even though every story wasn't 5 star for me, those that were are so strong they carried the whole book along with them. I loved "Inventory", "Mothers" and "Real Women Have Bodies", but my favorite was "Especially Heinous", which takes the title of each episode of the TV show 'Law & Order Special Victims Unit (seasons 1-12) and spins a story around it - all are short, from one sentence to half a page. The episodes don't follow a traditional story arc, but they do combine to make a sometimes weirdly funny, sometimes hallucinatory story about the detectives Benson and Stabler (which are also the TV characters names) and their private and professional lives as they investigate cases of sexual violence. About halfway in, their doppelgangers appear (Henson and Abler) for a cat-and-mouse game. Here's a taste of a few episodes:

"BANG": A bomb goes off in Central Park. It was beneath a park bench the whole time. No one is sitting on the bench when it detonates, and the only casualty is a passing pigeon. The serial killer sends a note to Benson and Stabler. All it says is "Oops."

"PENETRATION": "No." "Yes." "No." "No?" "No." "Oh."

"VULNERABLE": For three days in a row, there is not a single victim in the entire precinct. No rapes. No murders. No rape-murders. No kidnappings. No child pornography made, bought or sold. No molestations. No sexual assaults. No sexual harassments. No forced prostitution. No human trafficking. No subway gropings. No incest. No indecent exposures. No stalking. Not even an unwanted dirty phone call. Then, in the gloaming of a Wednesday, a man wolf whistles a woman on her way to an AA meeting. The whole city releases its long-held breath, and everything returns to normal."

( )
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
It took me a little while to adjust myself to the world of these stories but once I did, I fell in love with them. ( )
  Katie_Roscher | Jan 18, 2019 |
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Epigraph
My body is a haunted
house that I am lost in.
There are no doors but there are knives
and a hundred windows.

-Jacqui Germain
god should have made girls lethal
when he made monsters of men.

-Elisabeth Hewer
Dedication
For my grandfather
REINALDO PILAR MACHADO GORRIN,
quien me contó mis primeros cuentos, y sigue siendo mi favorito

and for
VAL
I turned around
and there you were
First words
(If you read this story out loud, please use the following voices: ME: as a child, high-pitched, forgettable; as a woman, the same.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Contains short stories about the realities of women's lives and the violence visited upon their bodies.

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