Other Sellers on Amazon
In the Dream House: A Memoir Paperback – December 1, 2020
|New from||Used from|
Explore your book, then jump right back to where you left off with Page Flip.
View high quality images that let you zoom in to take a closer look.
Enjoy features only possible in digital – start reading right away, carry your library with you, adjust the font, create shareable notes and highlights, and more.
Discover additional details about the events, people, and places in your book, with Wikipedia integration.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
“Merge the house and the woman―watch the woman experience her own body as a haunted house, a place of sudden, inexplicable terrors―and you are reading the blazingly talented Carmen Maria Machado.”―Parul Sehgal, The New York Times
“Breathtakingly inventive. . . . Machado’s writing, with its heat and precise command of tone, has always had a sentient quality. But what makes In the Dream House a particularly self-aware structure―which is to say, a true haunted house―is the intimation that it is critiquing itself in real time. . . . Here and in her short stories, Machado subjects the contemporary world to the logic of dreaming.”―Katy Waldman, The New Yorker
“Machado’s wit and compulsive post-mortem approach configure her story into a wildly propulsive memoir, an ambulatory survey of the genre.”―The New York Times Book Review
“If there are no new stories, only new ways to tell them, Carmen Maria Machado has found a way to do exactly that, ingeniously,
in Dream House ― a book that manages to break open nearly everything we think we know about abuse memoirs. . . . The result is a gorgeously kaleidoscopic feat ― not just of literature but of pure, uncut humanity.”―Entertainment Weekly
“In the Dream House is the kind of book that burrows under the reader's skin while simultaneously forcing her to inhabit the body of the writer.”―NPR.org
“Piercing. . . . In the Dream House makes for uneasy but powerful reading.”―Mark Athitakis, USA Today
“A tour-de-force meditation on trauma, survival and the language we use to talk about it all.”―TIME, Best Books of 2019
“[A] dizzying, dazzling amalgamation of memoir and criticism.”―Vanity Fair
“[In the Dream House] is a genre-bending, formally inventive, generous memoir that adds both documentation to the archive as well as a work of art to be admired for its narrative achievements. . . . Machado’s memoir adds something vital to the canon of queer history. . . . Above everything else, this book is a gift to the reader, to anyone suffering in violence that is hard to prove or name, and people looking for ways to tell their stories that have few or no precedents.”―San Francisco Chronicle
“Carmen Maria Machado is as much alchemist as author. . . . In this brainy, playful, shattering account, Machado ultimately tells her own singular tale.”―O, the Oprah Magazine
“As her folkloric references suggest, the cycle of abuse is a kind of poisonous enchantment in which victims can be enthralled. Ms. Machado’s memoir casts a powerful counter-spell.”―The Economist
“Machado rejects standard memoir conventions in favor of short discursive chapters. . . . The result is a thoroughly engrossing, sometimes enraging must-read.”―BuzzFeed
“A stunning book, both deeply felt and elegantly written.”―Julia M. Klein, The Boston Globe
“Celebrated for her inventive writing, Carmen Maria Machado will not disappoint her fans with this dazzling memoir that journeys through a maze of stories, each vignette (some only a sentence long) an individual room containing a moment of wonder, curiosity or sorrow.”―NBC News Latino
“Two years after first commanding the world’s attention with her debut collection Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado is back with In The Dream House, an engrossing memoir that blurs the lines between personal narrative and literary criticism.”―Harper’s Bazaar
“Machado is able to captivate the reader while telling a brutally honest narrative of abuse.”―Marie Claire
“In the Dream House gleamingly smashes our notion of memoir, relocating Machado’s genre-bending mastery from fiction to nonfiction. As with her short story collection, an intoxicating mix of fabulism and horror, sci-fi and gutting realism, Machado’s playfulness on the page is intoxicating.”―Newsday
“Carmen Maria Machado’s pointedly funny, deeply reflective In the Dream House manages to be a short story collection, memoir, and lesson in fragmentation all rolled into one.”―The A.V. Club
“The world needs this book. . . . We need this book precisely because it's so literary―enabling a view of domestic abuse, in the LGBT community and beyond, that only literature can manifest. . . . [Machado] uses formal experimentation to extend [empathy] into moral and political territory.”―Psychology Today
“Forget everything you think you know about memoir when reading Carmen Maria Machado's brilliant, twisting, provocative entry in the genre.”―NYLON
“In the Dream House―a devastating chronicle, interrogation and historical contextualization of her experience in an abusive relationship―is no less than a brilliant revision of the form.”―Salon.com
“Machado’s telling of this particular story is anything but common: It’s compassionate and thoughtful and achingly honest. Most of all, In the Dream House is a generous book. It is generous to all the readers of the future who might find themselves in the Dream House as Machado did. And so that they don’t have to make up their own language to make sense of what is happening to them, it offers itself up, bare and vulnerable.”―Vox
“[In the Dream House] is an impressive, finely calibrated work of literature, one that throws open the door to a subject that’s still rarely broached, and makes the reader’s stay equally illuminating and unsettling. . . . In assuming the role of architect and archivist, Machado makes In the Dream House as much a memoir as a monument.”―The A.V. Club
“There are hundreds of ways to be haunted, In the Dream House shows, but not all of them have been written: Via a delicate polyphony of storytelling and criticism, Machado lays out how the literary tradition of domestic abuse has both expressed and muffled the experiences of women in danger in their own homes.”―Bookforum
“Machado is not just a beautiful writer, she’s a brilliant writer.”―The Rumpus
“In the Dream House is proof, a nod towards justice, however nebulous or impossible that idea might be, as it sounds out against gatekeepers, archival erasures, and silence, articulating the possibility of queerness against the grain of singularity.”―Frieze
“Machado's innovative memoir does not pull punches. . . . In the Dream House is a brilliant successor to her acclaimed short story collection.”―Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
“You leave In the Dream House dazzled by the author’s artful inventiveness and pondering her hard-won wisdom. . . . Truly remarkable.”―The Seattle Times
“Machado’s book vibrates truth.”―Bitch Magazine
“Deeply intelligent and fiercely innovative.”―Slant
“The way [In the Dream House] seamlessly weaves the facts of [Machado’s] life with fictions―the ghosts that still haunt her, the fact that even time travel could not undo what’s been done―is a masterstroke. Machado's that writer who can convincingly code-switch between sci-fi nerdery and lyrical realism. She's equally at home in both worlds.”―Angela Watercutter, Wired
“In the Dream House [is] one of the more unique memoirs you’ll ever read. . . . It will be needed and recommended and read and reread for generations to come.”―Autostraddle
“An unflinching, engrossing memoir.”―POPSUGAR
“[In The Dream House] is a tour de force that demonstrates the many tools that Carmen Maria Machado wields as a writer. This is a difficult book and a glorious one.”―Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“A groundbreaking memoir in terms of both form and content. . . . Get ready for Machado to take you on several breakneck cross-country trips of the soul.”―The Observer
“In the Dream House is a deeply personal, chilling memoir of abuse and a testament to the healing strength of vulnerability. Machado expertly centers each chapter around a different narrative device and in so doing provides a new reading experience altogether.”―Ms. Magazine
“The Philly author of the much-awarded Her Body and Other Parties comes back strong with this memoir about adolescence, sexual identity, and damaging love.”―The Philadelphia Inquirer
“A raw, innovative memoir.”―BBC Culture
“In the Dream House is a tough read – dark, disturbing, incandescent. But Machado bravely has decided to not be silent about her pain, and in sharing her story, she delivers a stunning and important work.”―Suzanne Tobias, KMUW
“What might feel gimmicky in another writer’s hands is revelatory in Machado’s: In the Dream House becomes a complexly layered exploration of the personal and the political, and the literary, both a brave baring of a painful experience and a reckoning with our collective failure to truly deal with queer intimate partner abuse.”―Lambda Literary
“In the Dream House is not only a memoir but a masterclass in what genre can do.”―Electric Literature
“[In the Dream House] confronts the issues of credibility, self-doubt, and disbelief that all too frequently arise when survivors of domestic abuse speak out. But the work also stands as an intervention explicitly aimed at the silences, erasures, and lacunae of the culture at large. . . . A human story, full of artistry, candor, and grace.”―The Brooklyn Rail
“In the Dream House is both innovative in its approach and nerve-striking in its subject matter.”―Pacific Standard
“Carmen Maria Machado's rise in the literary world has been nothing short of meteoric.”―The Week
“A spectacular literary performance.”―ZYZZYVA
“In the Dream House further cements Machado’s status as one of the leading writers today.”―Refinery29
“Machado’s skill at cracking the candied shell around life’s warm, sweet organs is on par with her mastery of gothic atmospherics: both are essential to this book’s power.”―Triangle House
“Cycling through a staggering array of modes and strategies, In the Dream House wheels in and out of fabulist, formalist, and realist registers, cultural analysis and polemic to produce a fresh and unflinching interrogation of abuse in queer relationships. . . . In the Dream House arrives with a thunder that resounds.”―4Columns
“It seems absurd that no one has written about abuse in queer relationships like this before. Mercifully, In the Dream House fills an aching void.”―Women’s Review of Books
“Machado has pulled off an amazing feat: a book that comments on its own existence and the silences it endeavors to fill; a work deeply informed by a sense of identity and community; and page after page of flawless, flaying, addictive prose.”―Sam Worley, BookPage, starred review
“Daringly structured and ruthlessly inquisitive. . . . The heart of this history is clear, deeply felt, and powerful. A fiercely honest, imaginatively written, and necessary memoir from one our great young writers.”―Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Machado has written an affecting, chilling memoir about domestic abuse.”―Publishers Weekly, starred review
“[Machado’s] writing exhibits all of the formal precision of her fiction, and the book draws the reader deep into the varied rooms of the haunted house of the past. Highly recommended.”―Booklist, starred review
“In this open examination of abuse―how it starts, how it hides, how it tears at the victim’s sense of self―Machado reimagines and plays with the memoir form, bridging the gap between reader and author in a way that is original and haunting.”―Library Journal
“Absolutely remarkable. . . . What makes this book truly exceptional is how Machado creates an archive where, shamefully, there is none.”―Roxane Gay
“It’s a testament to Carmen Maria Machado’s abilities that a memoir as harrowing as In the Dream House can also be so energizing to read, so propulsive.”―Kevin Brockmeier
“Carmen Maria Machado’s memoir about being trapped in a love relationship that turns nasty and shameful is unflinchingly honest. . . . In the Dream House affirms that Machado is one of the most talented young writers of our day.”―Lillian Faderman
“Wrought with alarming premonition, propulsive rhythm, and a trove of folkloric archetypes, Machado’s genre-crushing memoir is a meditation on the eclipse of knowledge and intuition by the narcotic light of a destructive bond that feels like love.”―Melissa Broder
“Carmen Maria Machado has re-imagined the memoir genre, creating a work of art both breathtakingly inventive and urgently true. In the Dream House is crucial queer testimony. I’ve never read a book like it.”―Alex Marzano-Lesnevich
About the Author
- Publisher : Graywolf Press (December 1, 2020)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1644450380
- ISBN-13 : 978-1644450383
- Item Weight : 11.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.63 x 0.66 x 8.28 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #9,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
If you have ever found yourself in an abusive relationship, you know how isolating and bleak it feels. If you’ve ever found yourself in a queer abusive relationship, you know that the feeling of isolation is also threaded with shame, confusion, and a lack of visible precedence. If you’ve ever found yourself in a queer, psychologically/emotionally abusive relationship, then you know how utterly impossible it is to find representations of your experience in movies, art, literature, television, etc. This book is important not only because it serves as a brilliantly written cautionary tale that anyone, in any kind of relationship, can be preyed upon - but also because those of us who have can finally add a book to our shelves that accurately represents our experience, or even use it as a resource to suggest to others who are struggling to understand our experience. The book benefits everyone who reads it - queer or not, abused or not.
Towards the end of the book, Machado mentions a moment in her past, wherein a woman at a party whispers to her, "I believe you". She is so overcome with gratitude and begins to cry so hard that she has to leave the party and go home. Every page of this book felt to me like a soft, gentle whisper in my ear: "I believe you. I believe you. I believe you."
Months earlier I stumbled upon the description and knew this book would be monumental. As early reviews crept in, my anticipation grew. I had my Kindle fully charged and stayed up until midnight so I could start reading the second it released. By 2am I was 30% done. A few marathon readings later, I reached the last page with breathless finality. The result? Monumental doesn't even begin to cover it.
The funny thing, it's not monumental because of what happens. Bad relationships happen all the time. Abusive relationships, mental and/or physical, happen all the time. It's talked about less in queer relationships, that's true, and Machado does a great job pointing that out, but I doubt anybody will be dumbfounded by what they read. They will be surprised, however, that there's someone brave enough to talk about it, and by how personal she's willing to get. They will be surprised by how she structures it.
The structure really is what makes this a masterpiece. It's not just the experience, it's the delivery. The darkest memories are brilliantly conveyed in second person and through varying lens. Most of them literary devices. Machado recounts her life through the eyes of Chekhov's Gun, Choose Your Own Adventure, Haunted House, Erotica, Plot Twist, and dozens more. Each section is short and precise. Never a wasted word. For those uncomfortable reading about abuse, she doesn't take it too far either. This isn't battered woman porn. She doesn't go on and on. We get snippets, glimpses of a life that we can easily piece together, and, more importantly, relate to.
What she accomplishes for the queer community specifically, I think, is breaking the ice. After hard-fought battles for marriage equality, there's this unspoken rule that gay relationships must work. If they don't, people will point and say I told you so. By extension, rights may be taken away. Obviously that's not the only factor that kept Machado in her relationship. It may not even be in the Top 10, but it is a shadow that hovers over the scene. She points to lesbian stereotypes as well. Society expects men to be abusive, but two women? Their relationship should be a utopia, right? These stereotypes, this ice, is something she clearly wants to break apart. And she succeeds tremendously.
Of course you don't have to be queer to recognize this is a master work of memoir and creative non-fiction. It is a testament that all experiences, however ordinary or unique, should be shared. Perhaps the most powerful aspect of the book is the relentless honesty. She veils it slightly by the structure and 2nd person, but in a way this makes the experience more real. More true. And the accomplishment, I think, is for any one person to read this and be able to know that, for sure, they are not alone.
Awful, awful, awful. Avoid at all costs.
Top reviews from other countries
The story is told in a series of chapters, some only a sentence long, that explore the relationship from different angles. Some push the boundaries of form to explore the relationship. The chapter ‘Dream House as Lipogram’ starts, ‘It’s hard, saying a story without a critical part’ (173). In ‘Dream House as Folktale Taxonomy,’ Machado breaks down how the key story elements of the book fit into common folktale trops, a motif that will come up again and again in the footnotes. And in perhaps the most powerful chapter, ‘Dream House as Choose Your Own Adventure®’, Machado plays out multiple responses to a scenario, responses that all lead back, crushingly, to the same place.
Machado’s writing is deft and skillful. Most of the book is written in second-person, which emphasizes the disconnect between her current self - mostly referred to as I - and her former self, always referred to as“you”. As an English lit grad, I appreciated the chapters that advanced the story were interspersed with chapters that stepped back into a meta literary criticism of the work itself. I mean, can you really understand the power structure of an abusive relationship without quoting Foucault? ;)
Utterly brilliant, endlessly surprising, this book felt like an endlessly giving gift, a dresser with a thousand tiny drawers to open, each with a smooth and polished treasure inside. A mesmerizing take on an important issue.
This account of domestic violence within a female-female relationship is told in an unconventional way. The relationship is presented as a dream house but the life lived within this dream house is far from dreamlike, it's much closer to a nightmare.
There is a sinister presence throughout the book - the woman from the dream house who is the abuser. She is never named perhaps to protect her, perhaps to protect Machado, perhaps to protect them both but her influence is felt throughout. The book is split into a number of vignettes each depicting a different aspect of the relationship. These vignettes are beautifully written, there is a section towards the end that is written in the style of a choose your own adventure story and it perfectly summarised the cyclical nature of domestic abuse and the feeling of powerlessness for the abused who feels that no matter what decision they make, the outcome will always be anger, frustration and pain.
Machado also highlights how little information is out there about female-female domestic abuse. Thinking about it, I realised I also made assumptions that female-female relationships couldn't be abusive because women would never act in that way towards each other which is of course a naïve and ignorant view to take. In the Dream House goes some way to opening up the conversation on domestic violence and I am glad that it exists, let's hope it encourages more women to come forward and share their experiences to remove the stigma and start to address the underlying issues that have allowed this type of abuse to continue, disguised, in our communities.
It’s one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read, shining a light on a topic rarely talked about, surrounding the experience with context allowing the reader to see it from different angles. The voice Carmen Maria Machado writes with is modern, unique, insightful and so clever.
Every sentence has meaning and impact that you sometimes want to read it over again just to make sure you really took it in.
THE STORY... Carmen narrates her experience of an abusive same sex relationship.
I WAS... intrigued by this memoir, as I loved Carmen’s short story collection enough to dedicate a chapter of my dissertation to it, and I wanted to see how her writing style translated to nonfiction. Her writing retained its beauty, and blended seamlessly with her ideas, and the academic sources that she cited. It was illuminating to learn more about the history of domestic abuse, and by placing this within her story Carmen made this so much more meaningful.
One of my favourite chapters discussed the concept of queer villainy, and Carmen perfectly summed up the problem with marking all queer villains as harmful stereotypes by saying ‘when we refuse wrongdoing for a group of people, we refuse their humanity.’ Each chapter had a, for lack of a better term, mic drop moment - where I either learnt something, or another layer of the story was revealed. I loved this book, and I can honestly say that Carmen Maria Machado is one of the most talented authors that I’ve encountered.
It goes without saying that this book dealt with very serious topics and was genuinely upsetting - I would advise caution if depiction of abusive relationships could trigger or upset you. However, if this is something you feel able to read, you will not regret picking it up.
NOW... I would recommend this to everyone - it’s so relevant, so beautifully written, and so emotive. I definitely want to re-read Carmen’s short story collection ‘Her Body and Other Parties’, and I need to get my hands on her comic book series ‘The Low, Low Woods’.