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Sleepwalker on a Windowledge

Adam Mars-Jones: Carmen MariaMachado, 7 March 2019

Her Body & Other Parties 
by Carmen MariaMachado.
Serpent’s Tail, 245 pp., £8.99, January 2019, 978 1 78125 953 5
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... In​ the acknowledgments to Her Body & Other Parties Carmen MariaMachado strikes a note of respect for her predecessors that isn’t far from abasement: ‘Every woman artist who has come before me. I am speechless in the face of their courage.’ The stories in the book don’t really match this, their attitude being closer to a productive impertinence ...

Prowled and Yowled

Blake Morrison: Kay Dick, 12 May 2022

by Kay Dick.
Faber, 107 pp., £8.99, February, 978 0 571 37086 3
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... In fact, it’s arguably not a novel at all, part of it having first appeared as a short story. Carmen MariaMachado, in her foreword to the Faber reissue, sees the book sitting ‘somewhere between story collection and fix-up novel’ (a subgenre associated with science fiction). Dick herself gives it the subtitle ...

I want to ride a dragon

Elisa Gabbert: Paul-as-Polly, 1 August 2019

Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl 
by Andrea Lawlor.
Picador, 341 pp., £14.99, April 2019, 978 1 5290 0766 4
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... was she got to feel a dick inside her. The prose has gone into poetry drag. Like Maggie Nelson or Carmen MariaMachado, Lawlor is interested in blending styles and genres – or, perhaps more accurately, refuses to be confined by genre boundaries. As Polly, Paul does things Paul wouldn’t do; he cries easily, for ...

Father of the Light Bulb

J. Robert Lennon: Kurt Vonnegut, 22 February 2018

Kurt Vonnegut: Complete Stories 
edited by Jerome Klinkowitz and Dan Wakefield.
Seven Stories, 911 pp., £29.99, November 2017, 978 1 60980 808 2
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... writers – Kelly Link, Karen Russell – as well as newcomers such as Lesley Nneka Arimah and Carmen MariaMachado. Perhaps what Eggers means isn’t moral fiction, but morally simplistic fiction: stories that give up their insights easily, that demand little of the reader. The burden of moral simplicity, in our ...

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