The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings

hosted by Freda’s Voice

I still need to review Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymr.

In the meantime, my book for the Friday 56 is the short story collection Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado.

from the synopsis:
In Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado blithely demolishes the arbitrary borders between psychological realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism. While her work has earned her comparisons to Karen Russell and Kelly Link, she has a voice that is all her own. In this electric and provocative debut, Machado bends genre to shape startling narratives that map the realities of women’s lives and the violence visited upon their bodies.

from page 56 (“Mothers”):

I believe in a world where impossible things happen. Where love can outstrip brutality, can neutralize it, as though it never was, or transform it into something new and even more beautiful. Where love can outdo nature.

For Book Beginnings, which is hosted by Rose City Reader, I’m sharing the beginning of the first story in the collection (and my favorite so far), “The Husband Stitch,” an adult version of the classic children’s story “The Green Ribbon.”

(If you read this story out loud, please use the following voices:
Me: as a child, high-pitched, forgettable; as a woman, the same.
The boy who will grow into a man, and be my spouse: robust with his own good fortune.
My father: Like your father, or the man you wish was your father.
My son: as a small child, gentle, rounded with the faintest of lisps; as a man, like my husband.
All other women: interchangeable with my own.)

*

In the beginning, I know I want him before he does. This isn’t how things are done, but this is how I am going to do them. I am at a neighbor’s party with my parents, and I am seventeen. Though my father didn’t notice, I drank half a glass of white wine in the kitchen a few minutes ago, with the neighbor’s teenage daughter. Everything is soft, like a fresh oil painting…

This story was published in Granta in 2014. You can read it here.

I’ve read the first four stories in the collection, and I have four left.

Published by Beth @ Beth's Bookish Thoughts

This blog is for my thoughts on reading. A couple of my friends on GoodReads have blogs, so eventually I decided to start one myself. I hope to get involved in the book blogging community and become a better reader and writer! I am not accepting copies of new books for review, but I would be interested in new editions or new translations of classic authors. Find me on Upwork (as an editor) in the profile link. From September 2018 to October 2020 I blogged at Blogger.

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