Boy, Snow, Bird ($27.95) by Helen Oyeyemi begins 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, this new work 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.
As seen on the cover of theNew York Times Book Review, where it was described as gloriously unsettling evoking Toni Morrison, Haruki Murakami, Angela Carter, Edgar Allan Poe, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Chris Abani and even Emily Dickinson, and already one of the year's most widely acclaimed novels: