Carmen Maria Machado

Tom Storm Photography

Carmen Maria Machado

Friday, January 24, 2020 7:30 pm

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Women You Need to Know

Carmen Maria Machado’s short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, has been called “beautifully atmospheric and weird, sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking—and full of knife-sharp commentary on living as a woman in the world” (Electric Literature). It was a finalist for the National Book Award and has since been optioned by FX. Her memoir, In the Dream House, will be released in the fall of 2019.

In 2018, the New York Times included Her Body and Other Parties in a list of “15 remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century,” and Parul Sehgal called it “a love letter to an obstinate genre that won’t be gentrified. It’s a wild thing, this book, covered in sequins and scales.” In Jane Dykema’s viral essay on Machado’s opening story “The Husband Stitch,” Dykema writes, “it’s unlike teaching any other story… There is a truth in the tales that I recognize viscerally but have never been taught.”

Despite it being Machado’s first publication, Her Body and Other Parties was both a finalist and winner for a plethora of prestigious literary awards, including: finalist for the National Book Award, Kirkus Prize, LA Times Book Prize Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction; winner of the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize, Bard Fiction Prize, Shirley Jackson Award, Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction; a Best Book of the Year for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Paris Review, among many others.

Besides being a short story writer, Machado is an essayist and critic; she holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is the recipient of a variety of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Michener-Copernicus Foundation, the Elizabeth George Foundation, the CINTAS Foundation, Speculative Literature Foundation Diverse Writers Grant, and The Wallace Foundation. She’s also attended and been awarded residencies from Yaddo and Hedgebrook, to name a few. Her writing has appeared in print and online publications such as The New Yorker, Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Strange Horizons, Fairy Tale Review, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Tin House, Guernica, and elsewhere.

Machado lives in Philadelphia with her wife; she is currently the Writer-in-Residence at the University of Pennsylvania. An FX television show based on Her Body is currently in development, which has been likened to a feminist Black Mirror.