Book Review: “Her Body and Other Parties” by Carmen Maria Machado

her body and other partiesYou are unlikely to read another book like this any time soon. The stories contained within move between themes and genres so fluidly, it’s like the author is dancing via QWERTY keyboard. I would say the book is ostensibly of the horror genre, though it’s not the kind that is designed to have you checking your locks over the course of a sleepless night. Don’t get me wrong, some horrible things happen inside, but mostly there is an otherworldly unease present in Ms. Machado’s floating writing style. Even a darkly comic segment that summarizes an alternate reality version of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is full of striking moments, both in their beauty and in the way they perfectly capture the more upsetting aspects of our modern world. These stories all have the common thread of encapsulating the darkest thoughts that roam inside a woman’s head, whether they are of the sort that arise on their own, or get forced in there by society’s treatment of them. This is fiction that almost defies categorization, and is fully deserving of the many accolades it has been rackign up. It’s a revelatory book and it marks the arrival of a major new literary talent. ★★★★★ – Sean Farrell

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