A Revolutionary Memoir About Domestic Abuse By The Award Winning Author Of Her Body And Other Parties 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 BecomingAnd It S That Struggle That Gives The Book Its Original Structure Each Chapter Is Driven By Its Own Narrative Trope Haunted Houses, Erotica, Bildungsroman In 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 About The History And Reality Of Abuse In Queer RelationshipsMachado S Dire Narrative Is Leavened With Her Characteristic Wit, Playfulness, And Openness To Inquiry She Casts A Critical Eye Over Legal Proceedings, Star Trek And Disney Villains, Fairy Tales, 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 With exacting, exquisite prose, Carmen Maria Machado writes about the complexities of abuse in queer relationships in her absolutely remarkable memoir In The Dream House She deftly chronicles the wildness of succumbing to desire, the entrancing tenderness of loving and being loved, the fragility of hope, and the unspeakable horror when the woman you love is a monster beneath and on the surface of her skin What makes this book truly exceptional is how Machado creates an archive where, shamefully, there is none She demands that we face the truths we are all too often reluctant to confront about the kinds of suffering we are willing to tolerate and the suffering we willfully ignore Machado has already dazzled us with her brilliant fiction writing and she exceeds all expectations as she breaks new ground in what memoir can do Also, fuck that trash ass bitch She ain t shit At all. An innovative blend of memoir, research, and cultural commentary that masterfully grapples with domestic violence in queer relationships I couldn t put it down Split up into powerful, dense vignettes, In The Dream House just made me cancel all of my plans so I could finish it immediately So excited to see this one enter the world one of the best of the year, and one you will not forget For fans of Ocean Vuong s On Earth We re Briefly Gorgeous, I think these two books sit really well together as standouts for 2019 that grapple with queerness, identity, violence, and language in lush, compelling ways. I don t generally read memoirs, but when I got a copy of this book and flipped through it I knew it was going to be something different And having read Machado before I also knew it would be beautifully written What I got was something so astonishingly brilliant, so unique, so gorgeous, so visceral, so undeniably raw, it broke my heart and mended it in equal measure This book absolutely blew me away.Look, I don t gush very often I don t give out many 5 star reviews But this book is an absolute 10 out of 10 for me This is, primarily, a book chronicling an abusive relationship, but it is also so much It is queer history and essays It uses movies, books, pop culture, and various other forms of media as reflection and allegory It is a haunted house story, because domestic abuse is the ultimate gothic haunting It is personal It is analytical It is an examination and an excavation It is a little bit of everything, and yet it is so very much a unified whole I also have to say that I have never read a book that echoed my own experiences of abuse as much as this one the details are different but breath for breath it was so very much the same The moments and feelings that are so difficult to describe so perfectly worded This book is True And if you are a survivor you will likely find pieces of your own story here, told in such clarity you will have to remember to breathe.This book is a masterpiece, and I owe a piece of my heart to Machado for writing it If you are even remotely curious about this book pick it up Read it Experience it It is worth your time and attention, and you will be changed, even if only for an afternoon, by doing so.And if you are out there reading this, Carmen, I believe you Anyone who has lived in their own Dream House who reads this believes you It is impossible not to.Thank you to the publisher for the review copy folks, I can t wait for everyone to read this book I justLord. When CMM was here last year, a man in the audience at the event asked her how men should write women convincingly, and I guffawed and she laughed and said yeah before trying very kindly to answer his question Carmen, whenever you are next in DC, please let me buy you a cocktail and tell you how glad I am that you exist and are writing I should have stood in line and said it then, and now I ve read this wonderful and horrible book too and there is even to say Thank you for all of it. Dream House as ReflectionA history can double as reflection A mirror Reading accounts similar to our own can be conduits for processing the personal Carmen Maria Machado showed me this could be true.I knew going into this book, as a queer abuse survivor myself, that its subject matter alone would wreck me I didn t know just how much of it would come from how Machado interweaves structure effortlessly, allowing echoes of several pasts to overlap Machado s prose is stellar as always, equal parts sensitive and staggering Her Body and Other Parties stunned me, but this ripped me apart in a completely different way Machado takes this unwritten collective history and gives it new meaning, new perspective, and a new sense of closure, for me and so many others who have had these experiences linger open ended for so long. But will any book I read from now until the end of time be as good as this one In the Dream House is truly remarkable, a memoir that deftly sidesteps that categorization I opened this book one afternoon excited to read the new Carmen Maria Machado, even if it wasn t fiction, and then the next thing I knew it was night I would say that I devoured this book, but I am not quite sure that it didn t devour a few pieces of me in turn The most beautiful, devastating, lovely, strange, playful memoir I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Did I devour IN THE DREAM HOUSE, or did it devour me I lived on the line I picked it up every hour, though it wouldn t always let me It s a compulsion, the sharpest book I ve read all year Sometimes, I danced to its pulse Other times, the beat thumped in my ears Be warned as Machado fills a gap in popular thought about women, queerness, and domestic violence, she ll open a space in you, too Her pointed honesty, intellect, and language drilled a well of sadness and boldness in me Actually, I think it had always been there, but I can drink from it, now.
- 264 pages
- In the Dream House
- Carmen Maria Machado
- 20 June 2018 Carmen Maria Machado