Carmen Maria Machado

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Carmen Maria Machado
Carmen Maria Machado - book signing.jpg
Born (1986-07-03) July 3, 1986 (age 34)
Alma materAmerican University[1]
Iowa Writers' Workshop (MFA)
GenreScience fiction, fantasy, horror
Notable worksHer Body and Other Parties (2017)
In the Dream House (2019)
Notable awardsNational Book Award finalist
Years active2011–present
SpouseVal Howlett[1]

Carmen Maria Machado (born 1986) is an American short story author, essayist, and critic frequently published in The New Yorker, Granta, Lightspeed Magazine, and other publications. She has been a finalist for the National Book Award[2] and the Nebula Award for Best Novelette. Her stories have been reprinted in Year’s Best Weird Fiction[3], Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, Best Horror of the Year, The New Voices of Fantasy, and Best Women's Erotica. Her story collection Her Body and Other Parties was published in 2017. Her memoir In the Dream House was published in 2019. Machado lives in Philadelphia with her wife.[4]

Early life[edit]

Carmen Maria Machado was raised by her parents in Allentown, an hour north of Philadelphia. Her father was the son of two immigrants, with his own father moving to the United States from Cuba at the age of 18.[5] Machado's grandfather worked in the US Patent Office and met his future wife when she immigrated to the U.S. from Austria after World War II.[5]


Machado earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and has received fellowships and residencies from the Michener-Copernicus Foundation, the Elizabeth George Foundation, the CINTAS Foundation, the Speculative Literature Foundation, the University of Iowa, Yaddo, Hedgebrook, and the Millay Colony for the Arts.[4] Machado also attended the Clarion Workshop where she studied under authors such as Ted Chiang.[6]


Machado says her writing has been influenced by Ray Bradbury, Shirley Jackson, Angela Carter, Kelly Link, Helen Oyeyemi, and Yōko Ogawa.[6] In particular, Machado says she was heavily influenced by Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, which was given to her to read by an "insightful and amazing English teacher" when she was in the 10th grade of high school.[7]


Machado's short stories, essays, and criticism have been published in a number of magazines including The New Yorker, Granta, The Paris Review, Tin House, Lightspeed Magazine, Guernica, AGNI, National Public Radio, Gulf Coast, Los Angeles Review of Books, Strange Horizons, and other publications. Her stories have also been reprinted in anthologies such as Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2017, Year's Best Weird Fiction, Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, Best Horror of the Year, and Best Women's Erotica. Machado's short story "Horror Story," originally published in Granta in 2015, details a lesbian couple's difficulty coping with a haunting in their new house.[8][9]

Machado's fiction has been called "strange and seductive" and it has been said that her "work doesn't just have form, it takes form."[10] Her fiction has been a finalist for the Nebula Award for Best Novelette,[11] the Shirley Jackson Award,[12] the Franz Kafka Award in Magic Realism, the storySouth Million Writers Award, and the Calvino Prize from the Creative Writing Program at the University of Louisville. An analysis by Io9 indicated that if not for the Sad Puppies ballot manipulation campaign, Machado would have been a finalist for the 2015 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.[13] In 2018, she won the Bard Fiction Prize.[14]

Her horror-inspired short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, was published by Graywolf Press in 2017.[15] It was a 2017 finalist for the National Book Award for fiction,[2] won the 2017 National Book Critics Circle Award John Leonard Prize,[16] and was shortlisted for the 2018 Dylan Thomas Prize.[17] The collection has been optioned by FX and a television show is in development by Gina Welch.[18]

As of 2018, she is the Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania.[19] Machado is a 2019 recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship.[20]

Machado was Guest Editor of the Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2019 edition.[21] Her sci fi short stories have appeared in volumes including Latinx Rising: An Anthology of Latinx Science Fiction and Fantasy edited by Matthew David Goodwin with an introduction Frederick Luis Aldama. [22]


Short stories[edit]

  • "The Lost Performance of the High Priestess of the Temple of Horror" (Granta)
  • "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" (Harper's Bazaar)
  • "Mary When You Follow Her" (VQR)
  • "Eight Bites" (Gulf Coast)
  • "Blue" (Tin House)
  • "The Husband Stitch" (Granta)
  • "Horror Story" (Granta)
  • "Inventory" (Strange Horizons)
  • "Help Me Follow My Sister into the Land of the Dead" (Lightspeed Magazine)
  • "Especially Heinous" (The American Reader)
  • "Mothers" (Interfictions)
  • “The Book of the Dead” (BBC Radio 4)
  • “Haunt” (Conjunctions)
  • "A Cat, a Bride, a Servant" (Garage)
  • "A Brief and Fearful Star" (Slate/Future Tense)
  • "Relaxation Technique" (McSweeney's Quarterly Concern)
  • "Miss Laura's School for Esquire Men" (Tin House)
  • "Vacation" (Wigleaf)
  • "The Old Women Who Were Skinned" (Fairy Tale Review)
  • "Descent" (Nightmare Magazine)
  • "My Body, Herself" (Uncanny Magazine)
  • "Observations About Eggs from the Man Sitting Next to Me on a Flight from Chicago, Illinois to Cedar Rapids, Iowa" (Lightspeed Magazine)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Shepard, Louisa (November 2, 2017). "Once rejected by Starbucks, writer-in-residence is a National Book Award finalist". Penn Today. University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "2017 National Book Award finalists revealed". CBS News. October 4, 2017. Retrieved 2017-10-04.
  3. ^ "Year's Best Weird Fiction, Vol. 2". Undertow Publications. Retrieved 2020-01-23.
  4. ^ a b Carmen Maria Machado biography, author's website, accessed April 23, 2017.
  5. ^ a b "The metafictional, liminal, lyrical ways of writer Carmen Maria Machado" by Sabrina Vourvoulias, AL DÍA News, December 3, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Her Body and Other Parties: An Interview with Carmen Maria Machado" by Amandine Faucheux, NDR Magazine, May 2015.
  7. ^ "Interview With Carmen Maria Machado", Shimmer Magazine, accessed April 23, 2017.
  8. ^ "Horror Story". Granta. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
  9. ^ Machado, Carmen Maria (2017). Her Body and Other Parties. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Graywolf Press.
  10. ^ Sofia Samatar, "Double Take: On Carmen Maria Machado",The Los Angeles Review of Books, April 26, 2015.
  11. ^ "2014 Nebula Awards Winners", Locus Magazine, June 6, 2015.
  12. ^ "2017 Shirley Jackson Award Winners", Shirley Jackson Awards website, accessed April 23, 2017.
  13. ^ This Is What The 2015 Hugo Ballot Should Have Been, by Andrew Liptak, at Io9; published August 23, 2015; retrieved November 26, 2017.
  14. ^ Relations, Bard Public. "Annual Bard Fiction Prize Is Awarded To Carmen Maria Machado | Bard College Public Relations". Retrieved 2020-02-07.
  15. ^ "On Carmen Maria Machado's Body Horrors". The+Millions. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
  16. ^ Maher, John (January 22, 2018). "2017 NBCC Awards Finalists Announced". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  17. ^ "Dylan Thomas Prize 2018 shortlist announced". Books+Publishing. Retrieved 2019-02-04.
  18. ^ "Carmen Maria Machado's Her Body And Other Parties Adaptation Snatched Up by FX". Jezebel. Retrieved Feb 21, 2020.
  19. ^ Lemieux, Elizabeth (March 2, 2018). "Carmen Maria Machado: Sitting Down with Penn's Writer–In–Residence". 34th Street. Retrieved Oct 31, 2018.
  20. ^ "John Simon Guggenheim Foundation | Carmen Maria Machado". Retrieved 2020-02-07.
  21. ^ Studios, Clockpunk. "Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2019". John Joseph Adams. Retrieved 2020-01-23.
  22. ^ Latinx rising : an anthology of Latinx science fiction and fantasy. Goodwin, Matthew David,, Aldama, Frederick Luis, 1969-. Columbus. ISBN 978-0-8142-7799-7. OCLC 1157344767.CS1 maint: others (link)

External links[edit]