I have a hard time with short stories because I really like diving deep into a novel and getting lost in the sheer volume of words and worlds which makes it all the more remarkable how electrifying and engaging I found Her Body and Other Stories to be. Be prepared to be all too attached to this book, to physically itch to read it. I was completely enthralled from start to finish.
This is the third collection of short stories I’ve read this year and holy moly did is blow all the other two out of the water. In part I have CBR to thank for the depth of books I get into, this year is probably the first time since high school I’ve picked up a collection like this. And I’m so glad I did.
I like puzzle books and solving the puzzle – books where the author keeps you just a bit off base, a little tilted until the world resolves into view and you understand. With Machado, you don’t really ever understand. No story is every completely resolved and no ending is entirely satisfying and I found myself strangely okay with that. It did take me a couple of stories to come to terms with it, to stop seeking out solutions and answers (or maybe they were there all along, I was just looking wrong) but I was even more delighted when I just relaxed and took the stories as they were. The SVU one in particular will just mess with you until you give up and embrace it. There’s a level of creativity here that you maybe don’t get in a novel because it’s so much more than just one story. I really loved it.
Bingo Square: Snubbed! (National Book Award finalist 2017)