Interviews & Press

Recent Interviews & Press

Her Body and Other Parties: An Interview with Carmen Maria Machado.” New Delta Review.
Alone And At The Edge Of Everything: A Conversation With Carmen Maria Machado.” Electric Literature.
Interview: Carmen Maria Machado.” Tiny Donkey Magazine / Fairy Tale Review.
The Metafictional, Liminal, Lyrical Ways of Writer Carmen Maria Machado.” Al Día.
At Long Last, Sci-Fi and Fantasy Have Infiltrated the Literary Mainstream.” Wired’s Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy (Episode 177).
Interview with Carmen Maria Machado.” Solstice Literary Magazine.
Double Take: On Carmen Maria Machado.” Los Angeles Review of Books.
This Writer’s On Fire: Carmen Maria Machado.” The Butter.
Origin Stories: Fiction by Prompt.” Ploughshares.

Praise for Carmen Maria Machado’s fiction:

  • “Carmen Maria Machado’s stories build and build until they surround and ensnare and at the end you’re always glad to be all tangled up.” K. Tempest Bradford, NPR
  • “Machado tells the stories that are hidden just beneath the stories you think you know. The stories you’ve been waiting for without knowing it…She reveals new shapes, new forms, what’s been hidden right there all along: pain, joy, pleasure, horror.” Melissa Moorer, The Toast / The Butter.
  • “Like [Angela] Carter before her, Machado combines humor and horror to an evocative and disturbing effect.” Claire Burgess, The Rumpus
  • “My favorite up-and-coming writer of literary and speculative and literary-speculative fiction…” Gabriel Murray, Year in Review
  • “Machado blew me away in several venues this year… She’s my #1 writer to watch in 2014!” Sofia Samatar, Year in Review
  • Included on A.C. Wise’s Women to Read: New Voices list.
  • Included on SF Signal’s February MIND MELD: What is the Next Big Thing in Speculative Fiction?
  • Featured on FictionDaily.
  • Mentioned in Sabrina Vourvoulias’ “Putting the L in Speculative: Looking at U.S. Latino/a Writers and Stories” at Tor.com.
  • “Incredible, slippery, luminous work.” Amal El-Mohtar
  • “One of the best fantasists writing today… a force of nature.” Eugene Fischer
  • “Machado’s stories are fierce, feminist, playful, and sexy…” Sofia Samatar, SF Signal Mind Meld

Criticism

  • “Machado’s work doesn’t just have form, it takes form. Hers is a greedy oeuvre… in [her] stories, form is uncanny, sly, a pool of raindrops, a slightly skewed face in the mirror. We’ve seen it all before, but never quite like this.” Sofia Samatar, Los Angeles Review of Books
  • A critical essay about “Especially Heinous: 272 Views of Law & Order SVU,” Uzoamaka Maduka’s “A Woman in Love, in Love, in Love,” can be read in issue 5/6 of The American Reader

On “Inventory”

  • “Exquisite telling detail transforms this list story… into something emotional and poignant.” Rachel Swirsky
  • “[Explicit], brutal and masterful in its depiction of the shifting distances between corporeal lust and human connection.” Tangent Online
  • “A meditation on how we relate to people with sex, framed by a viral apocalypse story. I loved it because there were no zombies, it was sexy, character madness was believable, and it made me feel human.” Jen Phalian
  • “[An] interesting lens with which to examine a life.” K. Tempest Bradford, “My Favorite Fiction, January 2013”
  • “[Startling], intimate, and true to the bone.” Ron Collins, “Story of the Month”
  • “[Explores] the inexplicable variety of human relationships…” – Lois Tilton, Locus Magazine
  • “[A] wonderful, gripping story.” – Sara Norja
  • “Flawlessly [executed]… unexpectedly moving.” Abigail Nussbaum

On “Especially Heinous: 272 Views of Law & Order SVU”

  • “[Defies] explanation. Call it post-modern, or fanfiction, or Lovecraft meets Dick Wolf—all labels fall short of capturing the essence of this story.” K. Tempest Bradford, NPR
  • “A sui generis story that reads like tweets and TV episode guide… incredible… hilarious and disturbing.” Jonathan Sturgeon, Flavorwire
  • “Funny, disturbing, canny, and inventive… Machado… manages to create an engaging, strange, and wholly original story that draws into conversation sexual violence, popular culture, and our own weird-feeling relationships therein.” Arna Bontemps Hemenway, The Huffington Post
  • “[One] of the most original and interesting stories I’ve read this year…” Abigail Nussbaum
  • “[What] a beautiful, funny, clever, brutal, haunting piece of art this story is. I have described this as episode recaps of Law and Order SVU — if the show were written and produced by David Lynch.” Eliza Victoria
  • “Sounds goofy, I know, and I don’t think I could sell it to my book club, but a deeply felt humanity lurks in the goofiness and the MFA legerdemain.” Theobald, Loads of Learned Lumber

On “Observations About Eggs from the Man Sitting Next to Me on a Flight from Chicago, Illinois to Cedar Rapids, Iowa”

  • “Eggs as cosmic metaphor and pickup line – unusual and original premise. [Recommended.]” Lois Tilton, Locus Magazine

On “Help Me Follow My Sister Into the Land of the Dead”

  • “The concept is interesting but I had my doubts about whether or not it could be pulled off without seeming gimmicky. I should have known that Machado’s story would be brilliant and work exactly right, given that she’s already proved her skill at spinning great tales through unconventional story structures.” K. Tempest Bradford, io9
  • “Brutal fidelity to the crowdfundfic form…” Jo Lindsay Walton, Hugo
  • “I enjoyed this story so much.  It’s presented in the form of a Kickstarter campaign, with accompanying user comments and FAQs. Humour, horror and great sadness, inventively portrayed.” Nina Allan
  • “Heartbreaking and inventive… [with] an ending like a gut punch.” Martin Cahill, Tor.com

On “The Husband Stitch”

  • Recommended by Ellen Datlow during a Magazine Editor Round-Table at Old Bridge Public Library, sponsored by Mt. Holz Science Fiction Society, and at a panel at 2014’s World Fantasy Convention.
  • “I started reading. And then kept reading. And kept reading. The beauty of this story is the way it takes urban myth, freshly scraped off the walls of the Internet, and kneads it into something electric.” JY Yang
  • “Equal parts chilling and affecting…” Adrienne Celt, Love Among the Lampreys
  • “A little funny, a little spooky with its callbacks to urban legends aplenty, sometimes sexy, a lot heartbreaking. It’s one of those stories that looks so easy and yet, no one does it like Machado.” Lisa M. Bradley
  • “A beautifully written story… [a] rare tale [that] follows the womanhood and wifehood of the narrator. By the end, I’d quite forgotten where I was.” Towerbabel
  • “Nearly everyone knows how the story will end, how it must end, and yet the sense of impending doom, the question of when crawls beneath the reader’s skin and leads them through the story.” A.C. Wise
  • “A gorgeous story…” Eugene Fischer
  • “This is exactly the kind of SF you’d expect to find in a magazine like Granta — language spun like gossamer, linear narrative dipping in and out of some other mode, be it the past, the future, or the stories of others, a mysterious truth held tight in the hand, a surprise to people unfamiliar with fantasy or horror but sweetly expected by those of us who are.” K. Tempest Bradford, io9
  • “[An] incredibly tense re-telling of an old ghost story that also looks at gender roles and trust.” A.C. Wise, Favorite Reads of 2014
  • “[An] energetic elegy… sexy… and complicated as hell.” Maria Dahvana Headley, Best of Everything 2014: The Ecstastrophe Edition
  • “Machado is channeling Kelly Link in this piece, which references pop culture, fairy tales, and urban legends.  But she does so very well, and without losing her own voice.” Abigail Nussbaum, My Hugo Ballot, Short Fiction Categories
  • “Fucky, twee and violent all at once.” Jo Lindsay Walton, Hugo
  • “It’s both the story of a marriage and a wicked, exuberant cocktail of campfire tales. Remember the one about the couple sitting in their car as the radio broadcasts the news of an escaped killer with a hook for a hand? What about the one where the girl volunteers to spend the night in a graveyard? Most importantly for this story, what about the one where the bride wears a ribbon around her neck–a ribbon she refuses to take off? Machado’s stories are fierce, feminist, playful, and sexy, and ‘The Husband Stitch’ is one of her best.” Sofia Samatar, SF Signal Mind Meld
  • “Machado does wonders with the classic selkie set-up: a woman marries, but subject to a magical taboo that must never, ever be broken. Machado’s taboo, a green ribbon round the narrator’s throat, is wonderfully underplayed; it’s the narrator’s seemingly disjointed asides and little wheels of ghost stories that create a persistent dread. And the grim fairy-tale denouement stays true to that old wisdom, that stories’ ends must be both surprising and inevitable.” Theodore McCombs, Fiction Unbound

On “Mothers”

  • “[The] prose is tight and gorgeous… the main character of ‘Mothers’ [functions] in worlds where explanations hide behind curtains that are never lifted. [She] can only do the best with the circumstances offered to [her].” Gillian Daniels, Fantastic Stories
  • “Harrowing, heavy on heartbreak, but beautiful.” Lisa M. Bradley
  • “Surreal story about two women who are lovers: it moves from ‘Thank god we cannot make a baby’ to ‘We made a baby. Here she is.’ Features a baby that behaves like an actual baby, in other words a pretty bad baby, plus bad mothers, bad lovers, and a lover named Bad. Gorgeous.” Sofia Samatar
  • “[A] twisty, slippery tale of broken relationships, blurring the line between what is and what might have been.” A.C. Wise, Favorite Reads of 2014
  • “[She] has put personal experience at the service of fiction with astonishing force and efficacy.” Eugene Fischer
  • “A sad, haunting piece about an obsessive love story that turns abusive.  This one is just barely genre–it was published in Interfictions, a magazine that aims at the very boundaries of the fantastic–but is so well told that I couldn’t leave it off the list.” Abigail Nussbaum, My Hugo Ballot, Short Fiction Categories

On “Descent”

  • “… an ending that’s as creepy as anything I’ve ever read.” Terry Weyna, Fantasy Literature
  • “It’s a great way of framing the story, of the story in the story, of the story in the story in the story… and then it all comes back to the outermost layer but the story brings something with it, something from the deep.” Charles Payseur
  • “It’s a supremely creepy story, crafted with care and it hits like a tidal wave, lingering long after that first taste, the first feel of bitterness cut by sweet fruit.” The Monthly Round
  • “Here’s a dark, troubling little story that manages to keep the reader invested in its Russian-doll narrative while also poking fun at itself, playing here and there with meta-narrative gestures that (impressively) strengthen rather than undermine the story’s emotional immediacy.” Fiction Feed

On “Horror Story”

  • “After all the Horror I’ve read, why did I relish a short that’s mostly about figuring out what creepy crawly was stalking their apartment? Because Machado’s story uses those tropes to deliver something else entirely at the end. She unfurls her idea slowly and assuredly, through gradual hints of a drain malfunctioning, of escalating blame, in a tight package that hands off to an abrupt and highly unusual ending.” John Wiswell

On “A Girl’s Guide to Sexual Purity”

  • “Machado’s essay is a quiet triumph; she seeks to reconcile her current, flourishing adult life with the hurt, pain and confusion of her youth.” Emily Perper, Longreads

Past Interviews