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Is Carmen Maria Machado’s Debut Short Story Collection The Most Decorated Philly Book In Modern Memory?

Is Carmen Maria Machado’s Debut Short Story Collection The Most Decorated Philly Book In Modern Memory?

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There is a tired but persistent old saw in the publishing world about how “no one” cares about short stories, and it is often accompanied by little boomlets disproving that very thing. Even taking that peculiar ebb and flow into the equation, the fate that Her Body And Other Parties has been enjoying lately is nothing short of remarkable. The debut short story collection by Philly author Carmen Maria Machado (who’s also a current writer in residence at Penn) is a wild, genre-pushing ride that’s both experimental and a testament to just how durable this most American form really is.

And in the face of that old saw, it’s racked up a number of lit-world wins that is really something to behold. As of this writing, Her Body And Other Parties has been named:

Winner of the Bard Fiction Prize
Winner of the John Leonard Prize
Finalist for the National Book Award
Longlisted for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction
Longlisted for The Story Prize
Finalist for the Kirkus Prize
The #1 Indie Next Pick for October 2017
A New York Times Editor's Choice Selection
A Powell's Indiespensable Selection

Simultaneously, it has also been listed as a Best Book of the Year in:

The New York Times / The Washington Post / LA Times / Chicago Tribune / The Boston Globe / Kirkus Reviews / PW / O, The Oprah Magazine / Library Journal / Elle Magazine / Barnes & Noble / NPR Books / Bustle / Huffington Post / Entropy Magazine / Buzzfeed / Slate / Lenny Letter / New York Magazine / Commonweal Magazine / Los Angeles Review / FSG / Autostraddle / Vox / Electric Literature / Paste Magazine / Remezcla / SF Chronicle / San Antonio Current / Them / The Paris Review / PBS Books / The Riveter

All of which leads us to ask: Has any book by a Philly-based writer ever been quite so decorated, in recent memory or in general? We vaguely remember Common Sense being kind of a hit, but outside of that, we’re stumped. In any case, congrats, Carmen!

You can read the first three stories from Her Body & Other Parties here: “The Husband Stitch” (Granta), “Inventory” (Strange Horizons) and “Mothers” (Interfictions).

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