“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.”
“Carmen Maria Machado’s rise in the literary world has been nothing short of meteoric.” —The WeekNow available in paperback, Carmen Maria Machado’s In the Dream House is a searing account of a harrowing relationship with a charismatic but volatile woman. Each chapter in this wildly inventive memoir is driven by its own narrative trope—the haunted house, erotica, the bildungsroman—through which Machado holds her story up to the light, examining it from different angles. She considers 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.