Her Body and Other Parties

Her Body and Other Parties 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

  • Title: Her Body and Other Parties
  • Author: Carmen Maria Machado
  • ISBN: 9781555977887
  • Page: 325
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 startlinIn 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 naively assumed had shown it all, generating a phantasmagoric police procedural full of doppelgangers, 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.

    One thought on “Her Body and Other Parties”

    1. This is a difficult review to write because I have a lot of mixed feelings.Her Body and Other Parties is like most short story collections I have read in that some of the stories worked for me far more than others. It is a strange, experimental, feminist collection that often crosses into fantasy, dystopia and/or magical realism. Some of the stories stepped out of the land of weird into, I feel, the land of nonsensical and absurdist. I liked these stories less than the others.Perhaps it is somew [...]

    2. The stories in Carmen Maria Machado’s 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.

    3. I'd rate this 4.5 stars.If you think of works of fiction like works of art, Carmen Maria Machado's debut story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, is an abstract painting. It's undoubtedly gorgeous and attention-getting, there's no one right way to interpret the things you see (or read), everyone will see something different in it, and each time you look, you'll catch something you didn't see the first time. You may also find yourself wondering, "What did that mean?"Seven of the eight storie [...]

    4. This collection of short stories heavily emphasizes the violence that we put on women’s bodies. Whether it be sexual violence, physical violence, violence put on us by society, or violence we put on ourselves. This entire collection is absolutely haunting in the best way possible. I won’t forget this collection, ever. And these are all so queer, and so feminist, and invoked so many emotions from me. Carmen Maria Machado is beyond words talented, and I feel so very blessed to even have been a [...]

    5. It’s 3am I really need to fall back to sleep but I couldn’t stop reading these stories so before I drift offI’ll just say a few thingsITS NOT FOR THE TIMID.I had read two of the stories yesterday and couldn’t stop talking to Paul about them on our hike yesterday. I was trying to figure them out. They are easy to read - but requires our interpretation. I just now finished the rest some were even harder to wrap my head around. These are literary - kinda brilliant- short stories-which a cla [...]

    6. Carmen Maria Machado's Her Body and Other Parties is a collection I was so excited to read I dragged a friend in to read it with me. We handed off back and forth who got to pick the next story, never going in order, and found ourselves surprisingly disappointed by each one. In all honesty, I was drawn to what Machado was trying to do here, to what she was trying to say. But, she didn't say it with enough force. Some of her stories, such as "Real Women Have Bodies" and "Eight Bites" seemed to not [...]

    7. I ordered this for my library but grew impatient and listened to it on Hoopla instead. It is one of the finalists for the 2017 National Book Award (USA.)This is a book of short stories, all centering around the female body, as evidenced by the title. This would not be a book for anyone who shocks easily, as there is sex, a lot of sex, some of it queer sex, and some of it deals with the aftermath of sexual assault. Some of the themes are disturbing, and the insertion at times of supernatural or f [...]

    8. I was really looking forward to this book, ever since I saw a review by Roxane Gay for this; then when I read and loved one of these short stories earlier this year I was even more excited - and I was not disappointed in the least. I absolutely adored these stories and what Carmen Maria Machado has to offer. She writes just the kind of slightly unsettling and very upsetting short stories that I just adore. Her stories are twisted and mean but also beautiful beyond words. They have a core feminis [...]

    9. A crazy sometimes conflicting collection of fabulist tales. When this collection works, on tales of women with ribbons on their bodies, sexual encounters during a world ending epidemic, women literally vanishing in their skin and people who can hear the inner thoughts of adult film stars when they are watching porn, it is amazing. But occasionally like with a twist on an America hit series and all it’s nine seasons of episodes or a tale of mothers that gets too other, it lost me a touch. That [...]

    10. Her Body and Other Parties is the debut book by Carmen Maria Machado, whose movie reviews I was familiar with in the Los Angeles Times. Published in 2017, I bit on this short story collection with the publisher's promise of fiction that "borders between psychological realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism." I found it to be rough in terms of quality control, a talented beginner trying way too hard. The first and second of eight pieces are terrific but everything tha [...]

    11. “I choose this life,” the prostitute says to the social worker. “I do. Please put your energy into helping girls who aren’t here by choice.” She is so right. She is murdered anyway.Strange, visceral, but altogether, just too confusing for me.I would recommend this to those who loved the metaphorical side of Roxane Gay’s Difficult Women. (Before you ask, I was not one of those people.) Because these stories well, you’re not going to enjoy them unless you get them, at least partially [...]

    12. In her debut collection of short stories, Carmen Maria Machado mingles fabulism, body horror, erotica and feminist commentary. The thrust of Her Body and Other Parties is perhaps best encapsulated by the second story in the book, 'Inventory'. It starts with the narrator cataloguing everyone she's slept with, taking on that now-near-compulsory clinical tone, that Muumuu House type of thing of talking endlessly about sex but doing so in an affectless style that doesn't communicate any passion or j [...]

    13. Actual rating: 3.5 Individual ratings:The Husband Stitch - 5 (by far my favorite in the collection)Inventory - 4.5Mothers - 3Especially Heinous - 2Real Women Have Bodies - 3.5Eight Bites - 4The Resident - 3Difficult at Parties - 4

    14. I have heard all of the stories about girls like me, and I am unafraid to make more of them.This anthology isn't so much a collection of stories as it is a collection of experiences. Carmen Maria Machado writes beautifully; her voice is so incredibly unique, and no matter the content of the tale, she transports you right into the scene - for better or for worse. I'll do my best to give you my thoughts on each story, but at the end of the day, this is the sort of collection that I highly recommen [...]

    15. 3.5 starsA scintillating, sexually-charged short story collection that centers the emotions and experiences of queer women. Carmen Maria Machado writes about women's most pressing desires and their most difficult challenges. Almost all of the stories contain some element of fantasy or science fiction, such as women whose bodies disappear or a world that comes to an end because of a terrifying disease. Through these unique, uncomfortable narratives, Machado explores the pleasure and pain of women [...]

    16. Let me first say that Carmen Maria Machado is a brilliant writer. All throughout this book I was in awe of her use of language. She's also a visionary. These stories are imaginative, original, and intriguing in ways that far exceed the typical literary output of Iowa graduates.That being said, the actual storytelling is a mixed bag ranging from flawless to awkward. Many feel bloated, full of content that's unrelated to the general scope of the story. This is probably why the stories are all hard [...]

    17. Her Body and Other Parties is a riveting 8-story collection that is a gritty, provocative debut. It’s a fusion of magical realism, horror, supernatural and fantasy that focuses on women’s lives and their bodies. In general, I am not fond of short story collections, but this is outstanding work. After each story, I had to take the time to process it, because they really make you think and view the world in a new perspective. It’s an original and electric collection of stories that I thoroug [...]

    18. Going into this I was not at all sure I would enjoy it. Novels generally appeal to me rather than a short story collection and anything labelled fabulist or absurdist has me wary. However, I am always pleased to find my preconceptions proved wrong. Within a few pages I knew I loved this. Machado's writing is electric, unapologetically weird and visceral while also feeling on point with the current #MeToo zeitegist.This is essentially a collection of contemporary fairy tales, the same sense of cr [...]

    19. The Husband Stitch 5 stars, A tale of tales, spinning old folk stories throughout one important one. How much can one possibly give to someone before it's too much? This was beautifully written. Inventory 5 stars, This was haunting and unique. An apocalyptic story told through each of the narrator's sexual experiences. Mothers 3 stars, I'm still a tad perplexed by this one. I wanted to find a clear plot but maybe that's where I went wrong. It was obvious that the narrator was experiencing a hear [...]

    20. Carmen Maria Machado's debut short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, has marked her out as an effervescent talent in fermentation.Her gorgeously lubricious, fantastically deranged, genre-twisting stories explore women's bodies and the physical violence all too frequently visited upon them. Her narratives are strewn with surreal situations masquerading as humdrum lives, and many of her characters are propelled into states of half lunacy by their circumstances.Machado's feminal leitmot [...]

    21. 3.5 StarsThis book contains several feminist short stories. While I see the point to these stories the language is quite foul and I’m not enjoying that part of these stories. The Husbands Stitch - 4 Stars This is a short story about how men feel they have a right to women’s bodies. Inventory - 3 Stars This short story is about a woman’s sexual encounters during her life that is based on a post apocalyptic setting. Mothers - 2.5 StarsThis was an abstract story about a woman and how she came [...]

    22. Now Winner of the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Award for Best First Book 2017 It's true that Machado managed to write unusual, poetic and multi-dimensional short stories about the female body - she twists and turns a classic format, throwing in a little horror, sci-fi, some urban legends, and lots of pyschology and sex. She is an expert when it comes to creating atmosphere, and she can also be quite funny (it seems to be a minority opinion, but I thought her haunted re-telling of "L [...]

    23. The Husband Stitch: 5 Stars this was my favorite of the book so far and a really impactful and hard-hitting start to this series of short stories. Inventory: 4 Stars- an interesting look at sex and sexuality in a dystopian type world. Mothers: 2 stars-too weird and convoluted for me to follow, honestly. Especially Heinous: 2 Stars- I don't watch Law & Order and this was some strange Benson and Stabler re-write that just didn't connect with me. Real Women Have Bodies: 5 Stars- holy crap! The [...]

    24. These stories are 🔥🔥🔥. Jesmyn Ward might be in trouble after all Machado plays with genre until all that remains are singular stories about women's lives and the violence visited upon their bodies. These stories are game changers. You need to read this - I can't quite believe what I just read. Also, that title!

    25. I read 4 out of 8 stories, skipping over the endless Law and Order, SVU one, which felt to me like pure filler. Machado writes bizarre mash-ups of fairy tales and urban legends, most notably in the first story, “The Husband Stitch.” My favorite of the four I read was “Mothers,” about queer family-making and the abuse that lurks under the surface of so many relationships. I loved “Bad” and “Mara” (bitterness) as character names, the random Midwest setting, and the quirky metaphors [...]

    26. Reading these stories confirmed for me that I don't like horror stories and I like them even less when they are short stories. I was the kid around the campfire fire pleading with everyone to stop telling scary stories and couldn't we all just sing kum ba ya?I like back stories, a little explanation and solid endings and some of the things that make books click for me I couldn't find in this collection. Also, I must admit that there is some beautiful prose here and I was drawn to this writing an [...]

    27. 5/5- Even though the average of all the stories combined for me came out closer to 3.75 or 4, I really can't award this book anything lower than a solid 5. This is certainly one of the best books I've read this year. The language, the storytelling, the pure craft, such creativity, such genius, these tales are some of the most inventive,autiful, and strange stories I've ever read. STORY BREAKDOWN:The Husband Stitch- Oh my God what a way to start this collection. I'm wary of offering this one a 5/ [...]

    28. Part of what excites me about reading a debut author’s book is the originality of voice I might discover. The short fiction in “Her Body and Other Parties” by Carmen Maria Machado is so wild and inventive with an impressive variation in structure and subject matter shown from story to story. Often they branch into supernatural or surreal territories where women fade away into the stitching of designer dresses or the spirits of dead prostitutes with bells for eyes haunt a female detective. [...]

    29. This is the magical realism short story collection of my dreams. It's a gorgeous, bizarre, haunting, wonderful collection of short stories. Machado explores female desire and sexuality throughout all of the stories in this collection. It's both a celebration of the female body, and an unflinching look at the ways the world debases and abuses the female body. We see lots of women loving women in this book--both lesbian and bi rep!Her prose is lyrical, without ever feeling too flowery. At times he [...]

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