The Book of the Month for October is Carmen Maria Machado's short story collection Her Body and Other Parties which was shortlisted for the National Book Awards Fiction Prize 2017 and winner of the Shirley Jackson award.
Described by the New York Times as a 'wild thing [...] covered in sequins and scales, blazing with the influence of fabulists from Angela Carter to Kelly Link and Helen Oyeyemi', Her Body and Other Parties, the debut of Machado, demolishes the borders between magical realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism. A dark, shimmering slice into womanhood, Her Body and Other Parties is wicked and exquisite. It features stories about a wife who refuses her husband's entreaties to remove the mysterious green ribbon from around her neck; a woman recounting her sexual encounters as a plague spreads across the earth; a salesclerk in a mall who makes a horrifying discovery about a store's dresses; and a tale about how one woman's surgery-induced weight loss results in an unwanted house guest.
As acknowledged by the Guardian in its review of Macado's collection: 'the narrator begins as a bold girl in the tradition of Angela Carter: "This isn’t how things are done, but this is how I am going to do them [...] It is not normal that a girl teaches her boy, but I am only showing him what I want, what plays on the inside of my eyelids as I fall asleep". With its comparisons to Angela Carter and genre-bending tales, Her Body and Other Parties has gone straight to the top of our TBR list.