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Books

Carmen Maria Machado’s unusual ‘Her Body and Other Parties’ headed to the small screen

Carmen Maria Machado is author of a short story collection ‘Her Body and Other Parties’
Author Carmen Maria Machado
(Tom Storm Photography)

Carmen Maria Machado’s short story collection, “Her Body and Other Parties,” which offers a feminist take on horror and fantasy, is being developed as a television series by the FX network.

Machado’s 2017 collection was one of the most critically acclaimed debuts of the year. It won the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize for best first book, and was a finalist for the National Book Award, the L.A. Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Kirkus Prize.

The series will have an anthology format, Deadline reports, and is being described as “a feminist ‘Black Mirror’ with fairy tale themes.”

Some of the stories are more or less straightforward horror, such as the opener, “The Husband Stitch,” about a woman who forbids her spouse from touching the green ribbon she wears around her neck. When he finally convinces her to let him untie it, the result is a horrifying twist on the classic tale.

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In some ways, though, the book is an unusual choice for adaptation to television. “Difficult at Parties” follows a woman convinced she can hear the thoughts of actors in pornographic movies.

And the book’s most talked-about story, “Especially Heinous,” takes its inspiration from the television show “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.” The story is a dark reimagining of 272 episodes focusing on the detective characters Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler, who encounter unsettling ghosts and mysterious doppelgangers of themselves while investigating cases of sexual assault.

The adaptation will be written by Gina Welch, who has previously written for the shows “Feud” and “Ray Donovan.”

Machado confirmed the news on her Twitter account, saying she was “ridiculously excited” about the planned show.

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Machado will serve as a producer of the television adaptation, with Gina Welch, Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo and Samie Falvey taking executive producer roles.

Book jacket for Carmen Maria Machado’s short story collection ‘Her Body and Other Parties’
"Her Body and Other Parties" by Carmen Maria Machado
(Graywolf Press)


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