Boy, Snow, Bird: Book summary and reviews of Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

Boy, Snow, Bird

A Novel

By Helen Oyeyemi

Boy, Snow, Bird
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2014,
    320 pages.

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Book Summary

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.

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.

Dazzlingly inventive and powerfully moving, Boy, Snow, Bird 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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Oyeyemi wields her words with economy and grace, and she rounds out her story with an inventive plot and memorable characters." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Dense with fully realized characters, startling images, original observations and revelatory truths, this masterpiece engages the reader's heart and mind as it captures both the complexities of racial and gender identity in the 20th century and the more intimate complexities of love in all its guises." - Kirkus

"Oyeyemi, who has an eye for odd details, casts a spell with words and crafts a dreamlike world out of ordinary characters and circumstances in this intelligent and bewitching novel." - LIbrary Journal

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Author Information

Helen Oyeyemi Author Biography

Photo © Mark Pringle.

Helen Oyeyemi was born in Nigeria in 1984 and has lived in London from the age of four. She completed The Icarus Girl just before her nineteenth birthday, while studying for her A-levels. She is now a student of social and political sciences at Cambridge University. She has written two plays, Juniper's Whitening and Victimese. She has since written two more novels, The Opposite House and White is for Witching.

Name Pronunciation
Helen Oyeyemi: ooo-yee-yemi

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