Carmen Maria Machado

"I love the ability of stories to have spaces in them where the reader can rush in. That is the work I am most interested in, and that is the work I am most interested in writing."

Carmen Maria Machado is an essayist, critic, and fiction writer. Her work defies and blends genres such as surrealism, fantasy, and horror to create writing that is so palpable it seems alive.

Growing up in a household where story-telling was always present, Carmen says she has been writing basically her whole life. She learned about stories through reading as well as oral tradition in her family. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and she continues to facilitate her imagination and creative subconscious in her writing today.   

Her spellbinding debut short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, was long-listed for the National Book Award before it was even published. It ended up as a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Kirkus Prize, and it was the winner of the Bard Fiction Prize. The debut has been called compelling, gloriously weird, and unrestrained. The Chicago Tribune says Her Body and Other Parties is, “Simultaneously hot and chilling, these stories leave the reader enthralled and shaken,” and The New York Times says of the collection, “It’s a wild thing, this book, covered in sequins and scales, blazing with the influence of fabulists from Angela Carter to Kelly Link and Helen Oyeyemi…”

Carmen is an immense fan of the horror genre and has a special place in her heart for Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes. She is the Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, and lives in Philadelphia with her wife. Her memoir House in Indiana is forthcoming in 2019 from Graywolf Press.

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