Free ↠ In the Dream House By Carmen Maria Machado –

In the Dream House A Startling, Moving, And Innovative Memoir From The National Book Award Finalist For FictionFor Years Carmen Maria Machado Has Struggled To Articulate Her Experiences In An Abusive Same Sex Relationship In This Extraordinarily Candid And Radically Inventive Memoir, Machado Tackles A Dark And Difficult Subject With Wit, Inventiveness And An Inquiring Spirit, As She Uses A Series Of Narrative Tropes Including Classic Horror Themes To Create An Entirely Unique Piece Of Work Which Is Destined To Become An Instant Classic

Free ↠ In the Dream House  By Carmen Maria Machado –
  • Hardcover
  • 272 pages
  • In the Dream House
  • Carmen Maria Machado
  • English
  • 14 January 2019
  • 9781644450031

    10 thoughts on “Free ↠ In the Dream House By Carmen Maria Machado –

  1. says:

    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.

  2. says:

    YES YES YES A 1000x better than expected, and I expected nothing short of holy scripture.Months earlier I stumbled upon the description and knew this book would be monumental As early reviews crept in, my anticipation grew I had my Kindle fully charged and stayed up until midnight so I could start reading the second it released By 2am I was 30% done A few marathon readings later, I reached the last page with breathless finality The result Monumental doesn t even begin to cover it.The funny thing, it s not monumental because of what happens Bad relationships happen all the time Abusive relationships, mental and or physical, happen all the time It s talked about less in queer relationships, that s true, and Machado does a great job pointing that out, but I doubt anybody will be dumbfounded by what they read They will be surprised, however, that there s someone brave enough to talk about it, and by how personal she s willing to get They will be surprised by how she structures it.The structure really is what makes this a masterpiece It s not just the experience, it s the delivery The darkest memories are brilliantly conveyed in second person and through varying lens Most of them literary devices Machado recounts her life through the eyes of Chekhov s Gun, Choose Your Own Adventure, Haunted House, Erotica, Plot Twist, and dozens Each section is short and precise Never a wasted word For those uncomfortable reading about abuse, she doesn t take it too far either This isn t battered woman porn She doesn t go on and on We get snippets, glimpses of a life that we can easily piece together, and, importantly, relate to.What she accomplishes for the queer community specifically, I think, is breaking the ice After hard fought battles for marriage equality, there s this unspoken rule that gay relationships must work If they don t, people will point and say I told you so By extension, rights may be taken away Obviously that s not the only factor that kept Machado in her relationship It may not even be in the Top 10, but it is a shadow that hovers over the scene She points to lesbian stereotypes as well Society expects men to be abusive, but two women Their relationship should be a utopia, right These stereotypes, this ice, is something she clearly wants to break apart And she succeeds tremendously.Of course you don t have to be queer to recognize this is a master work of memoir and creative non fiction It is a testament that all experiences, however ordinary or unique, should be shared Perhaps the most powerful aspect of the book is the relentless honesty She veils it slightly by the structure and 2nd person, but in a way this makes the experience real More true And the accomplishment, I think, is for any one person to read this and be able to know that, for sure, they are not alone.

  3. says:

    In this intimate, formally experimental memoir, Machado recalls how she survived an abusive relationship, but gives her own experiences a wider context As she illustrates by giving examples from real life, art and scientific texts, violence in lesbian relationships has rarely been acknowledged and discussed, thus rendering the victims almost invisible and making them even vulnerable With In the Dream House , Machado wants to add to the archive of stories about the human experience, turning the phenomenon of abuse between queer women into a topic to be considered, to be pondered To talk about queer people as abusers is in fact, Machado states, an act of liberation We deserve to have our wrongdoing represented as much as our heroism, because when we refuse wrongdoing as a possibility for a group of people, we refuse their humanity Machado met her unnamed ex girlfriend when she was studying for an MFA in Iowa, and with time, the woman in the dream house became and controlling, passive aggressive and also physically violent, gaslighting Machado, insulting and diminishing her and playing with her insecurities, until Machado finally found the strength to exit the relationship that had become a prison The mechanisms Machado depicts will probably be recognizable for many people, but I have to admit that before the author pointed it out to me, I hadn t actively thought about the fact that there are hardly any texts that talk about abuse in a queer context, which means that queer people in these situations do not find themselves represented in real and fictional stories and are thus deprived of a language to express what they are experiencing And although Machado explicitly states that it is her goal to change that, the situations and effects she depicts are in many respects universal Machado is just a fantastic psychological writer with keen sensibilities, and she finds highly evocative words and images to convey her own past This main narrative thread is not only split in multiple short chapters, it is also interspersed with flashbacks, scientific research on the topic as well as examples from literature, music, films and real life that support Machado s argument that violence in lesbian relationship has long been a taboo These paragraphs also paint a wider picture of American society as a whole, about dynamics that aim to other minorities and to control female sexuality This multi layered approach is also mirrored in the metaphor of the dream house , which not only refers to the actual house in Bloomington the ex girlfriend used to live in, but also to a house that was not a house and a dream that was no dream at all , a self deception with multiple different rooms and scary surroundings think Poe s The Fall of the House of Usher, where the house is also much than an actual building To convey her alienation, Machado refers to her abused self of the past as you , which is a particularly tricky narrative choice, and I ve rarely seen an author pull this perspective off so effortlessly and effectfully All in all, I liked this much better than Her Body and Other Parties which I already found rather impressive , and once I started reading, I couldn t put it down Some parts were slightly too fragmented for my taste, but this memoir is a real achievement and deserves all the praise it currently gets.

  4. says:

    Machado writes in the afterword for this novel, In The Dream House is by no means meant to be a comprehensive account of contemporary research about same sex domestic abuse or its history .And yet that is in a way what she has created. More powerful because of the memoir format in which it is presented.There are parts of this memoir where you can viscerally feel the fear that Machado feels The slow grinding down of her spirit from the constant verbal, psychological, and physical violence that she experiences.I was an instant fan of Machado s writing after reading her debut, a collection of short stories, Her Body and Other Parties I am happy to write that her beautiful style of writing remains As well as a powerful piece of literature to bring reader s attention to queer domestic abuse, it is a joy to read In no way does this feel like a flat, black and white memoir Machado lets the metaphors fly It is the early months of 2011 marriage equality is smouldering, catching fire in some states, doused with water in others She has a raspy voice that sounds like a wheelbarrow being dragged over stones but she touches your arm and looks directly at you and you feel like a child buying something with her own money for the first time She leans away and looks at you with the kind of slow, reverent consideration you d give to a painting She strokes the soft inside of your wrist You feel your heart beating somewhere far away, as if it s behind glass Beautiful vivid writing that continues through the whole memoir.We find that at thirteen, Machado was a devout Christian In her own words, obsessed with sexual purity , She not only went to church, but enjoyed it, and firmly believed that Jesus was her saviour.Then when she was sixteen along came a new associate pastor, Joel Jones Joel Jones slowly but surely built up a strong bond between himself and Machado Increasingly they would meet at venues, like diners at two in the morning, just the two of them Machado, young and innocent fails to see that Jones has broken down the walls that should stand firm and solid between them The walls of minister congruent, adult teenager, teacher student When Machado leaves for college, we find out that Jones has been fired as pastor for having an affair with a parishioner He finally answers Machado s phone calls to tell her he is alright, and Machado never hears from him again Did Jones ever stop for a minute to realise the damage he had done to Machado The mental torture that he put her through Did he ever consider the destructive impact his actions would have on her life Did they have any At college she meets and falls in love with another female student Things could not be any better until one day when she leaves the class to go to the bathroom, she finds a girl weeping and she finds out that the girl has been raped Machado stays with the girl for two hours talking and comforting her When Machado and her girlfriend drop the stranger home, things start to go sideways Her girlfriend erupts violently screaming at her to never do that again and that she did not know where she was She pounds the dashboard with her fists to emphasise the point Machado is at first bewildered than afraid Where has this violence come from As time goes on, it only gets worse The girlfriend is obsessed.After they have met their respective parents Things slowly get worse One day the girlfriend pinches her arm and maintains the pinch getting stronger and painful The girlfriend has taken the first step crossing the line from emotional abuse to physical abuse However, it is the psychological abuse that is the most destructive.For me this almost feels like an avant garde form of memoir with Machado approaching each chapter from a wide variety of different perspectives Exploring events from her past in the form of films, novels, science fiction tv series At times it feels bizarre, but it works amazingly well With each chapter you feel like Machado has hammered another point home about the lack of exposure, the scarcity of archival records of queer domestic abuse With each chapter she seems to be emphasizing that this abuse is happening even if is not recorded, and that why should there be any difference from heterosexual abuse or any form of abuse anyway.I loved this book, I think that it is brilliantly written, and that Machado is an extremely intelligent and gifted writer, delivering a powerful and important message 4 Stars Thanks to Serpent s Tail for providing the ARC.

  5. says:

    In the Dream House is a most unmemoirlike memoir This account of Carmen Maria Machado s years in an abusive same sex relationship plays with form, blending elements of literary criticism, pop culture essays, folk tales and the shadowy worlds of her short fiction To tell this real life story, Machado cleaves herself in two the first person, present day I settled, successful, safe addresses the second person, past you This textual interplay between two Carmens affords closeness than addressing an imagined reader would You cried in front of many people You missed readings, parties, the supermoon You tried to tell your story to people who didn t know how to listen You made a fool of yourself, in ways than one.I thought you died, but writing this, I m not sure you did Machado has then further cut and polished her pain into dozens of tiny gleaming facets, variations in style that are employed as lenses, each one offering a new revelation Among these, for example, are Dream House as lipogram as prisoner s dilemma as Schr dinger s Cat as Choose Your Own Adventure as comedy of errors This all could have fallen into a gimmicky heap, but the blend of formal inventiveness and raw vulnerability is executed beautifully In the Dream House is a memoir from someone who not only has a painful experience to relate and work through, but who can also REALLY write AND think AND synthesise, who in her own words can braid the clays of memory and essay and fact and perception together, smash them into a ball, roll them flat. Overall it is unconventional and as such won t be to everyone s taste , but not in a way that s distancing or abstract A genuinely memorable and highly impressive work 5 stars.

  6. says:

    Dream House as Sodom Like Lot s wife, you looked back, and like Lot s wife, you were turned into a pillar of salt, but unlike Lot s wife, God gave you a second chance and turned you human again, but then you looked back again and became salt and then God took pity and gave you a third, and over and again you lurched through your many reprieves and mistakes one moment motionless and the next gangly, your soft limbs wheeling and your body staggering into the dirt, and then stiff as a tree trunk again with an aura of dust, then windmilling down the road as fire rains down behind you and there has never been a woman as cartoonish as you animal to mineral and back again.With a brave and daring honesty, Machado lays out her relationship in an open book Using short vignettes or sequences, piece by piece, she bares her soul 5 stars I received a free review copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest unedited feedback With thanks to Serpents Tail and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book IntheDreamHouse NetGalley

  7. says:

    This is a quick read but is alive with intelligence, insight and empathy, detailing how a young woman finds herself, unexpectedly, in an abusive relationship Machado is honest about her emotions her vulnerability and desire for love, her retreat in the face of the gradual uncovering of the inner nature of her lover, her pretence and self deception, her attempts to encourage her lover to get professional help, her final escape.As well as detailing an intensely personal story, this is also a book which is in self conscious dialogue with other cultural narratives The overwhelming story, as Machado points out throughout, is about the patriarchal male oppression of women as seen through everything from myths and fairytales through to contemporary films But increasingly we are aware that men can be victims, and women can be abusers, and that these narratives, too, need to become mainstream Machado s particular interest is in queer abuse a story that is both horrifyingly familiar even while it has some differences The abuse suffered is primarily not physical but emotional and psychological.So a brave unveiling of emotional turmoil, written in precise and emotive prose I can t think of anyone that I wouldn t recommend this book to.Many thanks to Serpent s Tail for an ARC via NetGalley.

  8. says:

    This memoir about emotional and psychological domestic abuse was written in such a unique and compelling way The author explores the myths and the cultural beliefs that abuse doesn t happen in lesbian relationships The memoir is told through multiple vignettes centered around the time her girlfriend lived in a particular house while enrolled in an MFA program The unique structure bolstered the powerful and impactful writing.

  9. says:

    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.

  10. says:

    This is a memoir that plays with structure, that recognizes implicitly that this is a book people will sit down and read, and that understands the world and the record it is coming into It is a world where we still don t really recognize that domestic abuse takes place in queer relationships, we don t recognize abuse as anything except physical harm from a man acting on a woman Machado knows she is facing an uphill climb, especially since abuse memoirs have an inherent problem of explaining to readers who haven t been in the cycle of abuse why you didn t leave.It s a daunting task, but Machado faces it by going outside of the normal memoir framework She acknowledges that writing about queer abuse is almost nonexistent She sets out her research on queer abuse and fits her own relationship within that framework She puts the reader in her own shoes, writing in 2nd person so you follow along in her place She breaks it down into small bits, relating her experience through a different lens every few pages She presents the entire story within the tropes of fairy tales and folklore, binding a rarely told story to many familiar ones It is not a traditional memoir and reading it doesn t give you a traditional narrative experience, but it is affecting and powerful Sometimes Machado s narrative choices frustrated me, she would end a section right at a moment of high conflict when I just wanted to know, But then what What did you say How did she respond How did this actually play out So there are frustrations that go with avoiding a traditional narrative, but eventually I had those gaps filled in Viewing the book as a whole you see everything you need to see It is brutal and sad and Machado does her best to show you why she was vulnerable and why she acted the way she did The section that follows a Choose Your Own Adventure style of storytelling is unexpectedly affecting, maybe the most impactful part of the book, making the traps clear, anticipating the reader s responses Machado is often at her best when she dives into these unusual structures Her willingness to pull back and place her story in a different context may give you a bit of reading whiplash, but at the end you can pile it all up to see the way it makes a whole work.Some readers may struggle with a book that only really works when all the pieces are in place, but generally Machado is friendly and understanding, speaking to you in a way to keep you engaged But it does require you to really consider all of it over again when it s concluded instead of taking it piece by piece.

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