Carmen Maria Machado- Writing as Activism

Becca Anderson, author of The Book of Awesome Women Writers, has written a new blog post on the life and career of author and activist Carmen Maria Machado.

Carmen Maria Machado is an acclaimed short story author, essayist, critic, and memoirist. Her first collection of short stories, Her Body and Other Parties (2017), won a Shirley Jackson Award, a Bard Fiction Prize, a Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction, a Brooklyn Public Library Literature Prize, and a National Book Critics Circle prize. The New York Times listed Her Body and Other Parties as one of fifteen “remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write fiction in the twenty-first century” in 2018. The author says her stories cover a wide range of topics, including “the oppressed body, gender, sex, and sexuality, media, myths, and legends, and ghosts and
the uncanny.”

Born in 1986, she was raised in Allentown, a mid-size industrial city an hour north of Philadephia. She went on to obtain an MFA degree from the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa and has received several fellowships, including one from the Guggenheim Foundation. She has also studied under authors including Ted Chiang at the Clarion Writers’ Workshop. She is the Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania; she and her wife reside in Philadelphia. As of this writing, her 2019 memoir In the Dream House, described by Nylon magazine as “brilliant, twisting, provocative,” has just been released.

Something I’ve struggled with all of my life is this perception of what women are. You hear that a lot: “Women are this. Men are this.” And that sentence is never actually true and is always sexist, even if it’s well-intentioned. And yet, there is something that binds women together: the oppression of our bodies.

Carmen Maria Machado, in a 2016 interview with Solstice Literary Magazine

The Book of awesome women writers

Medieval Mystics, Pioneering Poets, Fierce Feminists and First Ladies of Literature (Feminist Book, Gift for Women, Gift for Writers)

This one-of-a-kind tome takes a tour with Sylvia Beach and other booksellers as well as librarians, editors, writers, bibliophiles, and celebrated book clubs. Join women’s studies scholar Anders as she takes you on a ribald ride through the pages of history. Chapter titles include “Prolific Pens” (including Joyce Carol Oates, author of over 100 books), “Mystics, Memoirists and Madwomen”, “Salons and Neosalons”, “Ink in Their Veins” (literary dynasties), and the titillating “Banned, Blacklisted, and Arrested.”

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