From the moment I first heard of Her Body and Other Parties, a collection of short stories by Carmen Maria Machado, I wanted to read it. Reading novels written by women and about women is really important to me, and this one in particular called out my name because it had elements of horror, one of my favorite genres of anything, incorporated into each of its short stories.
The collection of short stories in this novel focus on the violence put on women’s bodies, whether by society, other people, or the women themselves. Machado’s other-worldly and slightly unsettling writing fits perfectly with the topics of her stories, making each and every one all the more engrossing.
To be honest, some of the stories worked better for me than others, but I enjoyed reading all of them, something that I can’t say for every short story collection. And while there is the overarching theme of violence on women’s bodies, each story is very distinct, from a re-telling of the story of the girl with the ribbon around her neck, to a paranormal re-imagining of every Law & Order: SVU episode, to a woman’s recollection of all her sexual encounters as the world ends around her.
The stories in this book are unlike any others, and I look forward to reading more of Machado’s beautiful writing and evocative, creative stories. Her Body and Other Parties is also being developed into an anthology TV series, and hopefully, we’ll be seeing that on TV soon!