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CARMEN MARIA MACHADO reads from her new short story collection HER BODY AND OTHER PARTIES

Her Body and Other Parties (Graywolf Press)

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 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.

Praise for Her Body and Other Parties

“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.”—Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist and Hunger

“Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties tells ancient fables of eros and female metamorphosis in fantastically new ways. She draws the secret world of the body into visibility, and illuminates the dark woods of the psyche. In these formally brilliant and emotionally charged tales, Machado gives literal shape to women's memories and hunger and desire. I couldn’t put it down.”—Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia!

“Those of us who knew have been waiting for a Carmen Maria Machado collection for years. Her stories show us what we really love and fear.”—Alexander Chee, author of The Queen of the Night

“Carmen Maria Machado writes a new kind of fiction: brilliant, blindingly weird, and precisely attuned to the perils and sorrows of the times.”—Ben Marcus, author of Leaving the Sea

“Carmen Maria Machado has a vital, visceral, umbilical connection to the places deep within the soul from where stories emanate. With a tenderness that is both touching and terrifying, Her Body and Other Parties gives insight into a cluster of worlds linked by their depth of feeling and penetrating strangeness.”
—Alexandra Kleeman, author of You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine

“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, author of What Belongs to You

“Her Body and Other Parties will delight you, hurt you, and astonish you as only the smartest literature can. In this collection Machado blends horror, fairy tale, pop culture and myth in mesmerizing ways that feel utterly new. These stories are peerless and brilliant.”—Alissa Nutting, author of Made for Love and Tampa

“Carmen Maria Machado shuffles together fantastic, realistic, popular, and literary genres and then deals winning hand after winning hand. Whether it is reworking fairy tales, rewriting the entire run of Law and Order into a grim fantasy, or diving into unchartered territory entirely Machado's own, Her Body and Other Parties is a deft and thoughtful reclaiming of both literature and genre.”—Brian Evenson, author of A Collapse of Horses

Her Body and Other Parties is genius: part punk rock and part classical, with stories that are raw and devastating but also exquisitely plotted and full of delight. This is a strong, dangerous, and blisteringly honest book—it’s hard to think of it as a ‘debut,’ it's that good.”—Jeff VanderMeer, author of Borne

“What Carmen Maria Machado has done with this collection is nothing less than stunning. Just when you think you’ve figured her out, she unveils another layer of story, so unexpected, so profound, it leaves you gasping.”—Lesley Nneka Arimah, author of What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky

“With her lush, generative imagination, shimmering language, and utter fearlessness, Carmen Maria Machado is surely one of most ferociously gifted young writers working today. . . . Hilariously inventive, emotionally explosive, wonderfully sexy, Machado’s stories will carry you far from home, upend your reality, and sew themselves to your soul.”—Michelle Huneven, author of Blame and Off Course

“Carmen Maria Machado is the way forward. Her fiction is fearlessly inventive, socially astute, sometimes pointed, sometimes elliptical, and never quite what you’re expecting—yet behind it you can always hear that ancient tale-teller’s voice, bartering for your attention with its dangers and its mysteries, its foolhardy characters pulled this way and that by the ropes of their emotions. . . . There is at once the breath of the new about these stories and the breath of the timeless.”—Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Brief History of the Dead

“A form-bending fabulist in the tradition of Kevin Brockmeier, Kelly Link, and Karen Russell, she gleefully seeks out weird shapes and subjects for every story. . . . She writes uncanny, creepy, sexy, funny, feminist, magical-realist, metafictional, pop-cultural, and all-of-the-above stories, and she seems determined never to write the same story twice. Yet for all of its wildly inventive variety, Her Body and Other Parties is unified by the one story it keeps finding new ways to tell: how women can survive in worlds that want them to disappear, whether into marriage, motherhood, death, or (literally) prom dresses.”—Bennett Sims, author of A Questionable Shape
 

Carmen Maria Machado’s work has appeared in Granta, the New Yorker, NPR, Electric Literature, and elsewhere. She has been nominated for a Nebula Award and a Shirley Jackson Award, and was a finalist for the Calvino Prize. She lives in Philadelphia. You can visit her website at: www.carmenmachado.com  

Photo by Tom Storm Photography

Event date: 
Thursday, October 5, 2017 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Her Body and Other Parties: Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555977887
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Graywolf Press - October 3rd, 2017