Her Body and Other Parties

By Carmen Maria Machado,

Book cover of Her Body and Other Parties: Stories

Book description


'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…

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Why read it?

4 authors picked Her Body and Other Parties as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This is a series of short stories, and while they’re all set in an eerie world adjacent to our own, I have the story “Inventory” specifically in mind for this list. It’s a haunting read that has stuck with me for years now. What it lacks in length, it makes up for in images that have been seared into my brain. I literally cannot tell you more without spoiling it.

One of the most riveting story collections that I’ve read in the past decade is Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties. A virtuoso feat of new wave gothic and totemic feminism, Machado’s collection casts a lantern light on the female-body-as-haunted-house; chambers of secrets that play unsettled host to a litany of dreams and nightmares. “The Husband Stitch” is a psychologically taut remix of the classic horror tale, “The Green Ribbon,” while my favorite story in the collection, “Real Women Have Bodies,” is a dystopic gem in which women, prey to an epidemic of dematerialization, have begun to…

We chose Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties (short stories) for our book club, one day before the news came out that it had been nominated for the National Book Award. A debut collection nominated? It’s that good.

My favorite story (aligning with many) is "The Husband Stitch", which was nominated for a Nebula Award for Best Novelette. In life, The Husband Stitch is a surgical procedure where more stitches than necessary are used to repair the cut or torn perineum during childbirth so the woman's vagina is tighter to increase her husband's sensation during lager intercourse -…

From Tammy's list on queer books across time & genre.

Machado’s provocative short story collection gives us a dark, kaleidoscopic whirlwind of tales, from women literally disappearing into dresses to fat removed from a liposuction procedure haunting a woman’s house. Machado mixes horror, erotica, and science fiction deftly on these pages, with sharp, delicious prose detailing narratives of women who are queer, fat, mentally ill, and will be seen. The patriarchy should quake in the wake of Machado’s bold and singular voice.

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