Boy, Snow, Bird (2014) With her fifth novel, 29-year-old Helen Oyeyemi has fully transformed from a literary prodigy into a powerful, distinctive storyteller. A play on Snow White ,… 2014-03-06 Fiction Riverhead Hardcover
Book Review

Boy, Snow, Bird (2014)

BOY, SNOW, BIRD Helen Oyeyemi
BOY, SNOW, BIRD Helen Oyeyemi
EW's GRADE
A

Details Release Date: Mar 06, 2014; Writer: Helen Oyeyemi; Genre: Fiction; Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover

With her fifth novel, 29-year-old Helen Oyeyemi has fully transformed from a literary prodigy into a powerful, distinctive storyteller. A play on Snow White, this bizarre fairy tale feels off-kilter and magical from its opening page. On a snowy night in 1953, downtrodden blond heroine Boy Novak escapes the clutches of her sadistic father and takes refuge in a Massachusetts town. There she marries Arturo Whitman, a widower raising a lovely raven-haired girl named Snow. When Boy and Arturo have a daughter of their own, Bird — who, to Boy's surprise, is born black — it's revealed that Arturo comes from a line of African-Americans passing as white. For reasons that aren't exactly evil, Boy falls into the role of the image-obsessed stepmother and banishes Snow to live with Arturo's secret dark-skinned sister, raising Bird herself. The story evolves in transfixing and surprising ways from there, all the while meditating on race and beauty. A

Originally posted Feb 26, 2014 Published in issue #1301 Mar 07, 2014 Order article reprints