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‘Her Body and Other Parties’ gives shape to female stories

Carmen Maria Machado’s debut collection of short stories, “Her Body and Other Parties,” oscillates between the horrifying and humorous, the fantastical and psychologically troubling, the uncanny and original. All eight stories feature women on the verge of becoming “madwomen in the attic,” challenging genre archetypes and traditional notions of femininity with inspiration from fairy tales,…

Confronting old age, now

On Sunday afternoons, I bike three miles to a quaint wooden house in a quiet neighborhood in Menlo Park. The house is adorned with pink shutters and a turquoise door, and the front yard garden is overgrown with lavender bushes and beautiful trails of flowering vines. Each week I park my bike in the driveway…