In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado


“Written in the second person, this remarkable memoir of an abusive relationship breaks structural bounds and turns tropes and clichés inside-out, the beating heart of her story bare. The prose is like glass slicing into the reader’s softness, its structure sewing us back together, our psyches challenged and changed without a visible stitch. And yet – and yet – it is warm, a wildness contained and writhing.
It is an archive of love, of desire, of shock, of disappointment, of losing oneself in another person, to another person. It is an archive of the intricacies of abuse in a queer relationship where few have existed before it.”

<3 Miranda

Similar: Abandon Me by Melissa Febos
Pair it with: The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch

In stock

SKU: 9781644450031 Categories: , , , ,


A revolutionary memoir about domestic abuse by the award-winning author of Her Body and Other Parties

In the Dream House is Carmen Maria Machado’s engrossing and wildly innovative account of a relationship gone bad, and a bold dissection of the mechanisms and cultural representations of psychological abuse. Tracing the full arc of a harrowing relationship with a charismatic but volatile woman, Machado struggles to make sense of how what happened to her shaped the person she was becoming.

And it’s that struggle that gives the book its original structure: each chapter is driven by its own narrative trope—the haunted house, erotica, the bildungsroman—through which Machado holds the events up to the light, examining them from different angles. She looks back at her religious adolescence, unpacks the stereotype of lesbian relationships as safe and utopian, and widens the view with essayistic explorations of the history and reality of abuse in queer relationships.

Machado’s dire narrative is leavened with her characteristic wit, playfulness, and openness to inquiry. She casts a critical eye over legal proceedings, fairy tales, Star Trek, and Disney villains, as well as iconic works of film and fiction. The result is a wrenching, riveting book that explodes our ideas about what a memoir can do and be.

In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado