‘The Husband Stitch’ by Carmen Maria Machado

A version of the folk/fairy tale/horror story (depending on who’s telling it), ‘The Green Ribbon’, Machado rewrites it here as a visceral visitation of the horror and ownership inflicted on women’s bodies. Not content with paying her surgeon more for an ‘extra stitch’ after she’s given birth, the narrator’s husband also nags at her, for years and years, until she finally gives in, and unties the thick green ribbon she wears around her neck. 

First published on Granta, 2014, and available to read online here. Collected in Her Body and Other Parties, Graywolf Press/Serpent’s Tail, 2017

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