Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

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 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 visit...

Details Her Body and Other Parties

TitleHer Body and Other Parties
Release DateOct 3rd, 2017
PublisherGraywolf Press
GenreShort Stories, Fiction, Horror, Fantasy, Feminism, Magical Realism

Reviews Her Body and Other Parties

  • Emily May
    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 thes...
  • Roxane
    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.
  • Larry H
    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 wonde...
  • Melanie
    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 talent...
  • Navidad Thelamour
    2.5 starsCarmen 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 ...
  • Amalia Gavea
    ‘’What magical thing could you want so badly they take you away from the known world for wanting it?’’ This book is one of those cases when you feel someone calling your name. From the enticing cover to the cryptic tale. Naturally, this being a short story collection falling into Literary Fiction, Magical Realism and Gender Studies, finding itself in my hands was unavoidable. This proved to be a very special, extreme adventure.Machado wri...
  • Elyse
    It’s 3am... I really need to fall back to sleep ...but I couldn’t stop reading these stories so before I drift off..I’ll just say a few things...ITS 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 arou...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    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 disturbin...
  • Paula Kalin
    Winner of the John Leonard Prize in 2017.Very well written erotic adventures of a lesbian. Way out there.4 out of 5 stars
  • Joe Valdez
    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 seco...
  • Hannah
    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 als...
  • Simon
    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 moth...
  • Mackenzi
    *long keening noise only uttered in the shadow of a perfect book*
  • Blair
    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 affectle...
  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    “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...
  • Riley
    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
  • destiny ♎ [howling libraries]
    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, th...
  • Thomas
    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 narrative...
  • Justin Tate
    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 st...
  • Coleen (The Book Ramblings)
    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...
  • Krista Regester
    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...
  • Paul Fulcher
    What’s worse - writing a trope or being one. What about being more than one.Her Body and Other Parties is a striking collection of short fiction - uneven but at its best quite brilliant (and at its worst - the tedious novella Especially Heinous - best skipped altogether unless you are a fan of the US TV series on which it is apparently based).A deliberate mash-up of genres - supernatural, horror, erotic, folklore, comedy, LGBTQ, feminist: Macha...
  • Trudie
    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...
  • Meike
    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 opini...
  • Dannii Elle
    Whilst not every short story collected here worked for me, I highly appreciated the queer and feminist vibes on every single page. This blended the fantastical with everyday issues women face and transformed them into a clever and complex assassination of societal issues.The Husband Stitch - 4.5/5 stars - This first story completely threw me and made me realise that this anthology might not be what I thought it was. I really appreciated the myste...
  • Alex
    I kicked off 2018 by reading some of the best of 2017. Here's my list; here's Digg's aggregate top ten list."All the Hooters waitresses get pregnant at once. No one will say why. 'This is not really a case,' Benson says, exasperated."I'm sorry, that gif is just going to be there blinking until you scroll past it or something, but it was also blinking in my head during the centerpiece of this short story collection, which is called "Especially Hei...
  • Julie Zantopoulos
    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. Re...
  • Selene
    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 wa...
  • Paula Bardell-Hedley
    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 lunac...
  • Ace
    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 beaut...