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, Fantasy, Horror, Feminism, Magical Realism, Glbt, Queer, Adult, Literary Fiction

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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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
  • Mackenzi
    *long keening noise only uttered in the shadow of a perfect book*
  • Navidad Thelamour
    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 ...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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 very inconsistent in terms of quality, with too much Writing and not nearly enough storytellin...
  • 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...
  • Meike
    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 "Law & Order: SVU" was hilarious, effective...
  • Jaclyn Crupi
    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!
  • Shannon
    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,.beautiful, and strange stories I've ever read. STORY BREAKDOWN:The Husband Stitch- Oh my God what a way to star...
  • Emily
    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 lyri...
  • Rebecca Foster
    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, th...
  • Shawn Mooney
    Machado is a wonderfully inventive writer, but most of these stories fall short. “The Husband Stitch“ was virtuosic in its erotic playfulness, but the weakness of the rest of the stories dimmed my appreciation of it too. There’s an annoying trend in much recent fiction: cluttering a narrative with a bunch of smaller stories—fairy tales, urban legends, what have you—hoping it will all end up seeming profound. It usually doesn’t. It doe...
  • 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...
  • Kathleen
    My review for the Chicago Tribune:http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifesty...In her 1826 essay on the subject of the supernatural in literature, gothic novelist Ann Radcliffe differentiates between the sensations of "terror" and "horror," arguing that terror is a feeling of dread that exists before an event has happened, whereas horror is a feeling of revulsion that exists after an event has taken place. Terror, she claims, "expands the soul and awa...
  • Amber Dallinga
    This collection did not live up to the expectations conjured by its stellar reviews, at least not for me.The stories weren't necessarily awful, but there is not even one story in the collection that sticks out to me as good. The stories deal with themes of the female body, including sexual abuse and body image. For a book dealing with these topics I found the excess of sexual detail disturbing. Most of the characters across the stories only seem ...
  • Sarah
    Carmen Maria Machado's Her Body and Other Parties is one of the most electrifying short story collections I've ever read. When I first heard about this book, I knew I had to get my hands on it immediately, and it did not disappoint! The inventive stories contained within are sensual, emotional, and creepy, and Machado is adept at combining magical realism, body horror, and feminism to create an exploration of women's bodies, their relationships t...
  • Jessica Sullivan
    Her Body and Other Parties is a powerful short story collection that blends realism and surrealism, horror and comedy. These are wild and primal stories about women on the verge—of pleasure, despair, sanity. There's a nightmarish fairytale element to them, a creeping sense of foreboding that takes the fears and anxieties of womanhood and molds them into something palpable—and often terrifying. I loved almost every one of them, and highly reco...
  • Terri Jacobson
    Carmen Maria Machado's debut collection of eight short stories blew me away. Her fiction is part fantasy, part fabulist, part literary and all provocative and memorable. I appreciate her strong feminist viewpoint and her matter-of-fact inclusion of gay characters as protagonists. Her writing is beautiful, but she also has a delicious sense of humor and irony. My favorite stories were "The Resident," about a writer confronting herself at an artist...
  • Amy
    These stories! This is one of the best books I've read this year. I'd call it a collection of stories with aimless main characters who largely follow their desires over their needs. The way the author writes is big and dark and glossy. She hints at the grotesque without ever actually getting there. There were a few stories I did not like as much between the middle and the end, but the last one was excellent as well and they really stay with you i...