Skip to main content

Carmen Maria Machado

Carmen Maria Machado’s work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Granta, Tin House, the Believer, Guernica, Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, and elsewhere. Her debut short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties (Graywolf, 2017), was the winner of the Bard Fiction Prize, the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize, and was a finalist for the National Book Award, among others. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has been awarded fellowships and residencies from Yaddo, Hedgebrook, and the Millay Colony for the Arts, among others. She is the Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania. “Mary When You Follow Her” is adapted from Tiny Crimes (Catapult, 2018).


Illustration by Sergio Garcia Sanchez

Mary When You Follow Her

Summer 2018 | Fiction

In the autumn of Maria’s eighteenth year, the year that her beloved father—amateur coin collector, retired autoworker, lapsed Catholic—died silently of liver cancer three weeks after his diagnosis, and the autumn her favorite dog killed her favorite cat on the brown, crisped grass of their front lawn, and the cold came so early that the apples on the trees froze and fell like stones dropped from heaven, and the fifth local Dominican teenager in as many months disappeared while walking home from her minimum-wage, dead-end job, leaving behind a kid sister and an unfinished journal and a bedroom in her mother’s house she’d never made enough to leave—