Machodo Pens Unique Memoir
Contributed by Megan Richard
This harrowing book describes the horrific nature of domestic abuse in this hard-hitting novel. It is a tough read but innovated in its writing that affects you in a deep way.
In the Dream House is Carmen Maria Machado’s engrossing and wildly innovative account of a relationship gone bad, and a bold dissection of the mechanisms and cultural representations of psychological abuse. Tracing the full arc of a harrowing relationship with a charismatic but volatile woman, Machado struggles to make sense of how what happened to her shaped the person she was becoming. And it’s that struggle that gives the book its original structure: each chapter is driven by its own narrative trope―the haunted house, erotica, the bildungsroman―through which Machado holds the events up to the light and examines them from different angles. She looks back at her religious adolescence, unpacks the stereotype of lesbian relationships as safe and utopian, and widens the view with essayistic explorations of the history and reality of abuse in queer relationships. Machado’s dire narrative is leavened with her characteristic wit, playfulness, and openness to inquiry. She casts a critical eye over legal proceedings, fairy tales, Star
Trek, and Disney villains, as well as iconic works of film and fiction. The result is a wrenching, riveting book that explodes our ideas about what a memoir can do and be.
This is one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read; it's absolutely haunting. It is also extremely hard to describe because it is genre defying. - Amazon Reviewer
It tore my heart apart, but stuck around to gather the pieces and offer a healing salve. Even if you've never experienced any type of abuse, the story is so well written, the style not just creative but cleverly reflecting the topic of the book, and the narrator's voice so likable. - Amazon Reviewer
A stunning book, both deeply felt and elegantly written. - Julia M. Klein, The Boston Globe
Machado is able to captivate the reader while telling a brutally honest narrative of abuse. - Marie Claire
About the Author
Carmen Maria Machado's debut short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, was a finalist for the National Book Award and the winner of the Bard Fiction Prize, the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction, the Brooklyn Public Library Literature Prize, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Prize.
In 2018, the New York Times listed Her Body and Other Parties as a member of "The New Vanguard," one of "15 remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century.”