In the Dream House

In the Dream House

A Memoir

eBook - 2019
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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--haunted houses, erotica, bildungsroman--in which Machado holds the events up to the light and examines 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 about 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, Star Trek and Disney villains, fairy tales, 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.
Publisher: [Canada] :, Strange Light,, 2019
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780771094514
0771094515
Branch Call Number: e-book
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Alternative Title: Library2Go

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OPL_AnnaW May 01, 2020

Machado shares her experience as a victim of abuse in powerful, direct writing. She also includes plenty of footnotes throughout on the rarely discussed topic of LGBTQIA+ domestic violence, providing a history lesson along the way.

A moving book and a creative exploration of what can be done in a text. Some of the experimental choices didn't seem totally motivated or I didn't feel like I understood why they were being done, but I liked the author's willingness to experiment and depart of the standard expression of the genre. If you've taken upper-level classes in the humanities you'll probably like the intermixing of academic writing with memoir, but that's not everyone's jam. If you've ever been in an abusive relationship, you'll feel and understand. If you haven't, this might be a good way in to understand what someone goes through (lesbian or otherwise).

a
abbiemccracken
Mar 17, 2020

This book blew my mind!

s
shuraleff
Mar 03, 2020

Sorry folks, I found the book tedious. Another account of "love gone wrong", but this time told from a queer female abusive relationship in short vignettes, rather than in a country song.

e
EljayJohnson
Jan 31, 2020

I'm unfamiliar with Machado's fiction but I will certainly seek it out now. This is a beautifully written and searingly honest memoir about the author's own abusive queer relationship. And it's written in an experimental, entirely un-memoirlike format that entirely succeeded for me. Machado captures both the thrill and tender joy of being loved and the gut-wrenching terror when your lover turns out to be a monster. Something special and certainly different.

JCLZachC Jan 28, 2020

With chapters' that range from a sentence to a few pages, each presented through the lens of a different narrative trope, this memoir is fiendishly clever and consistently brilliant.

d
duckcalldan
Jan 12, 2020

A tale of same-sex domestic violence, but really well told with glowing reviews.

Hillsboro_JeanineM Jan 04, 2020

This strangely formatted and oddly captivating memoir about a same-sex abusive relationship has been long-listed for the 2020 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction. Machado's innovative use of different narrative tropes to tell her story highlights her talent as a writer.

l
laphampeak
Dec 23, 2019

In the Dream House Machado gets personal and metaphoric in her vignettes that collect a series of events and episodes where she was abused by her female partner. Ponderous question on abuse...."What is the value of proof? What does it mean for something to be true? If a tree falls in the woods and pins a wood thrush to the earth, and she shrieks and shrieks but no one hears her, did she make a sound? Did she suffer? Who's to say?"
Machado writes with melody and provocation. Well done.

m
mjwiggins
Dec 07, 2019

"In the Dream House," Carmen Maria Machado's heartbreaking, beautifully written memoir, asks how we talk about experiences that exist outside of easily understood cultural narratives. Attempting to make sense of the emotional and mental abuse she endured from a former girlfriend in one of her first major queer relationships, Machado applies various narrative lenses to key moments in the relationship: Dream House as Romantic Comedy, Dream House as Ghost Story, Dream House as Choose-Your-Own-Adventure. Not an easy read, but as thoughtful and gorgeous a book as I've read all year.

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