In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

Staff Pick

Even if you’re not a fan of personal memoir, don’t count out In the Dream House (Graywolf, $26), by Carmen Maria Machado. The entire genre of non-fiction is brilliantly flipped on its head in this haunting, engrossing book about love, violence, and a woman grappling with who she is and who she can become. Between chapters that recount her volatile relationship with a past partner, Machado infuses essays about the history, stereotypes, and reality of abuse in queer relationships. Form and genre are suggestions rather than limitations for Machado as she offers readers everything from pop culture references like Star Trek and a choose-your-own-ending chapter, to informative footnotes that are often as gripping as the text itself and meditations on feminist and queer theory. While this book delves into the dark places of love (and, ultimately, the end of love), there is surprising hope at the end that is neither predictable nor overly saccharine. Dedicated readers of Machado’s fiction will love this book, but it’s bound to capture a whole new audience, as well, and both groups will walk away stunned, sobered, and sad to put it down. As she says in her dedication, “If you need this book, it is for you,” and as it turns out, we all need this book.

In the Dream House: A Memoir By Carmen Maria Machado Cover Image
ISBN: 9781644450031
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Graywolf Press - November 5th, 2019