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Riverhead Hardcover
320 pages
Product Description
<div> <b>Named one of 2014’s most anticipated books by CNN, The Huffington Post, Bookpage, Time.com, <i>The Chicago Tribune</i>, Vulture</b><b>, <i>Philadelphia Inquirer,</i> <i>Real Simple, </i></b><b>The Millions and Flavorwire</b></div><div> <br> <b>From the prizewinning author of <i>Mr. Fox</i>, the Snow White fairy tale brilliantly recast as a story of family secrets, race, beauty, and vanity.</b><br> <br> In the winter of 1953, Boy Novak arrives by chance in a small town in Massachusetts, looking, she believes, for beauty—the opposite of the life she’s left behind in New York. She marries a local widower and becomes stepmother to his winsome daughter, Snow Whitman.<br> <br> A wicked stepmother is a creature Boy never imagined she’d become, but elements of the familiar tale of aesthetic obsession begin to play themselves out when the birth of Boy’s daughter, Bird, who is dark-skinned, exposes the Whitmans as light-skinned African Americans passing for white. Among them, Boy, Snow, and Bird confront the tyranny of the mirror to ask how much power surfaces really hold.<br> <br> Dazzlingly inventive and powerfully moving<i>, Boy, Snow, Bird</i> is an astonishing and enchanting novel. With breathtaking feats of imagination, Helen Oyeyemi confirms her place as one of the most original and dynamic literary voices of our time.</div>
Riverhead Hardcover
320 pages
Amazon.com Review
<p><strong>An Amazon Best Book of the Month, March 2014:</strong> After escaping the cruel wrath of her abusive father, Boy Novak finds comfort in a small Massachusetts suburb and a widower named Arturo, whom she later marries. Boy is quite taken with Arturo's daughter Snow, but it's the daughter she has with Arturo that complicates their quiet lives--Bird's birth reveals that both Arturo and Boy are light-skinned African-Americans passing for white. Harkening back to the great passing narratives, like Charles W. Chesnutt's <em>The Marrow of Tradition</em> and, most notably, <em>Passing</em> by Nella Larsen, <em>Boy, Snow, Bird</em> is about both the exterior and interior complexities of racial identity. The perception of Arturo and Boy's race and social class is threatened by Bird. But it's the psychological conflicts that are the most devastating. Arturo was raised with "the idea that there was no need to ever say, that if you knew who you were then that was enough, that not saying was not the same as lying." Is passing dishonest if it isn't an active decision? <em>Boy, Snow, Bird</em> is a retelling of <em>Snow White</em>, and the wit and lyricism of Helen Oyeyemi's prose shares the qualities of a fable. But this novel isn't content to conclude with an easy moral. In fact, Oyeyemi complicates the themes she establishes. Her writerly charms shouldn't be taken for granted; the beauty of her writing hides something contemplative and vital, waiting to be uncovered by readers. <em>--Kevin Nguyen</em></p>