In the Dream House (Graywolf)

PLEASE NOTE: THIS EVENT WILL TAKE PLACE AT DYNASTY TYPEWRITER AT THE HAYWORTH: 2511 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057. Tickets available here.

Carmen Maria Machado has been hailed as one of the most talented young writers of our time. With In the Dream House, she reinvents the memoir with a gut-wrenching tale of love gone wrong, exploring her personal history of psychological abuse while bearing witness to the history and reality of violence in queer relationships. Her dark, fantastical short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, was a finalist for the 2018 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction.

Prismatic, engrossing, and wildly innovative, In the Dream House is Carmen Maria Machado’s account of a relationship gone bad and a bold dissection of the mechanisms and cultural representations of psychological abuse. Machado traces the full arc of a harrowing relationship with a charismatic but volatile woman and struggles to make sense of how what happened to her shaped the person she was becoming. Each chapter is driven by its own narrative trope—the haunted house, erotica, the bildungsroman—through which Machado holds her story up to the light and examines it from different angles. She considers her religious adolescence, unpacks the stereotype of lesbian relationships as safe and utopian, and widens the view with essayistic explorations of the history and reality of abuse in queer relationships. Machado’s dire narrative is leavened with her characteristic wit, playfulness, and rigorous inquiry. She casts a critical eye over legal proceedings, fairy tales, Star Trek, and Disney villains, as well as iconic works of film and fiction. The result is a wrenching, riveting book that explodes our ideas about what a memoir can be.

Praise for In the Dream House:

“Carmen Maria Machado has re-imagined the memoir genre, creating a work of art both breathtakingly inventive and urgently true. In the Dream House is crucial queer testimony. I’ve never read a book like it.” —Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, Lambda Award-winning author of The Fact of a Body

“Wrought with alarming premonition, propulsive rhythm, and a trove of folkloric archetypes, Machado’s genre-crushing memoir is a meditation on the eclipse of knowledge and intuition by the narcotic light of a destructive bond that feels like love.”—Melissa Broder, author of So Sad Today

“Carmen Maria Machado’s memoir about being trapped in a love relationship that turns nasty and shameful is unflinchingly honest. It’s also brilliant in the originality of its story-telling, its prose which is often sheer poetry, and its persuasive insights into why the sufferer keeps coming back for more. In the Dream House affirms that Machado is one of the most talented young writers of our day.”—Lillian Faderman, author of Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers and Naked in the Promised Land

“It’s a testament to Carmen Maria Machado’s abilities that a memoir as harrowing as In the Dream House can also be so energizing to read, so propulsive. Even more impressive is how a book that builds itself entirely out of left turns can seem by its final page to have followed the surest possible path to its center. Her Body and Other Parties established Machado as one of the most innovative young voices in American letters. In the Dream House announces that she is also one of the bravest.”—Kevin Brockmeier, author of A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip

Carmen Maria Machado's debut short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, was a finalist for the National Book Award and the winner of the Bard Fiction Prize, the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction, the Brooklyn Public Library Literature Prize, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Prize. In 2018, the New York Times listed Her Body and Other Parties as a member of "The New Vanguard," one of "15 remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century."

Her essays, fiction, and criticism have appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Granta, Harper’s Bazaar, Tin House, VQR, Conjunctions, McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, The Believer, Guernica, Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, Best American Nonrequired Reading, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the Guggenheim Foundation, Michener-Copernicus Foundation, Elizabeth George Foundation, CINTAS Foundation, Yaddo, Hedgebrook, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. She is the Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania and lives in Philadelphia with her wife.

Author photo by Art Strieber

Kima Jones has received fellowships from PEN Center USA Emerging VoicesKimbilio FictionYaddo's 2016 Howard Moss Residency in poetry and was named the 2014-2015 Gerald Freund Fellow at The MacDowell Colony. She has been published at Poets and WritersGQ, GuernicaNPR, PANK, Scratch Magazine and The Rumpus among others and in the anthologies Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, Her Own Accord: American Women on Identity, Culture, and Community and The New York Times Best Seller, The Fire this Time, edited by Jesmyn Ward. Her short story "Nine" received notable mention in Best American Science Fiction 2015, and her hybrid poem "Homegoing AD" appears in Best American Nonrequired Reading 2017. Kima lives in Los Angeles where she operates Jack Jones Literary Arts, a book publicity company. 

Event date: 
Thursday, November 21, 2019 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
In the Dream House: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781644450031
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Graywolf Press - November 5th, 2019

Her Body and Other Parties: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555977887
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - October 3rd, 2017