Machado’s electrifying Her Body and Other Parties—a finalist for the National Book Award—expanded our sense of what a short story could be and do. Her powerful new book draws on a similarly wide range of tones, cultural references, and formal innovations to redefine the memoir. Organizing each chapter around different themes—a haunted house, erotica, the bildungsroman—Machado explores an abusive lesbian relationship from multiple angles. As she chronicles her attraction to a charismatic and volatile woman, Machado looks back at the role of religion in her adolescence, interrogates the assumption that lesbian relationships are safe, and explores the history and reality of abuse within the queer community. Machado is in conversation with Jeannie Vanasco, author of Things We Didn’t Talk about When I Was a Girl.
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