Join us as we discuss "In the Dream House" by Carmen Maria Machado!
Thursday, August 25, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm | Hanes House
The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art will host "Banned Books Summer" this May through August. "Banned Books Summer" is a series of informal discussions of novels and memoirs that have, for one reason or another, been banned from public school libraries across the country. SECCA director William Carpenter will lead the discussions, which are free and open to all.
The discussions will examine the topics and themes central to the books. In addition, participants will look at the contexts and reasons for the books being banned. "It's important to ask what book bans say about the social and political climates we live in," said Carpenter. "Do these bans speak to our values or to our fears? Why do so many such bans focus on books that confront race, class, gender, and sexuality?"
For our August meetup, we'll be discussing In the Dream House, 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.
Support our local book store by purchasing the book from Bookmarks, available here. Book club members, make sure to mention SECCA's book club when checking out in-store at Bookmarks to get 20% off your book club purchase! For online orders, use discount code "20SECCA".
ABOUT THE BOOK
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?the haunted house, erotica, the bildungsroman?through 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 of 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, fairy tales, Star Trek, and Disney villains, 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.