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Boy, Snow, Bird

af Helen Oyeyemi

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MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1,7881089,422 (3.48)139
From the prizewinning author of Mr. Fox, the Snow White fairy tale brilliantly recast as a story of family secrets, race, beauty, and vanity. 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.… (mere)
  1. 00
    Brooklyn af Colm Tóibín (Tanya-dogearedcopy)
  2. 00
    Snebarnet af Eowyn Ivey (unlucky)
    unlucky: Like Boy Snow Bird, The Snow Child is a retelling of a fairy tale aimed at adults that incorporates elements of magical realism
  3. 00
    The Girls at the Kingfisher Club af Genevieve Valentine (W.MdO)
  4. 00
    The People in the Trees af Hanya Yanagihara (sturlington)
Indlæser...

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» Se også 139 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 108 (næste | vis alle)
Really well-written, Oyeyemi's words enraptured me.

The book is mostly a slice-of-life, but gets into racial politics more in the second half of the book. The title is confusing, I think: Boy is actually a girl's name, as are Snow and Bird.

I was left a bit cold by the ending though. Boy's "father" turns out to be her biological mother, but the whole explanation felt like a bit of a jab at trans people. She leaves to try and "save" "her". The consequences are left untouched, as the book simply ends there. ( )
  finlaaaay | Aug 1, 2023 |
The writing is beautiful and engaging, but the fairy-tale and fantastical elements feel like after-thoughts. They are inconsistent, dreamlike, and don't actually support--or even have any effect on--the story.
The issues and morality of "passing" (mostly as white, but also successful, happy, healthy, etc.) are explored in many ways for different characters. For the most part, this is well done, but the handling of the last of them sullied the whole thing for me, I'm afraid. ( )
  Littlecatbird | Jul 7, 2023 |
I don't know how to rate this.
I adore most of the book. Voice, tone, language, perspective, space, metaphor, restraint - love 'em all. And then...
After writing tremendously well about identity and perception, about the things we put on each other, the author ends the story with a revelation that is very hard to read as anything but transphobic bullshit. It's a strange ending that doesn't seem to fit the narrative, and the more I try to make sense of it in the plotline, the more transphobic it becomes. I'm struggling to understand how someone who writes with thoughtfulness and subtlety and frankness (in turns) about race and identity could then cast trans* identity as a trauma-induced mental illness that needs to be fixed. Honestly, I'm struggling. I wrote a few pages of rambling review in the hopes that I'm just misreading, misinterpreting. (Maybe she's holding up a mirror to an ugliness in our society. Maybe we're supposed to see how warped it is that Boy thinks she can 'bring back' her mother and somehow make everything ok. Maybe...)
There's some selfishness here on my part, because I want to love this work, and I want to recommend it. And more than that, I don't want to believe a person can be so clear about identity in one sense and so hurtful and wrong in another.
So here's hoping that I read it wrong. And if not, here's hoping every reader takes all that understanding of damaging expectations of identity and applies it to our conceptions of gender as well.

  Kiramke | Jun 27, 2023 |
Wow! Twist after twist. Lovely prose and an engaging story with characters who you never quite know. ( )
  bjsikes | Jan 30, 2023 |
As I'm accustomed to with Oyeyemi's books, I like this one a lot without really understanding it, especially the ending. I appreciate the way the story deals with love, the trade-offs of pursuing what we love and/or need in the face of the culture around us, the difficulty of recognizing and giving honest love when what we've received has been so much different from what love should be, and the challenge of being or even recognizing ourselves. ( )
  ImperfectCJ | Nov 30, 2022 |
Viser 1-5 af 108 (næste | vis alle)
I have mixed feelings about Boy, Snow, Bird. But I do have to say that my opinion sways heavily toward the positive! I’ve never read anything by Oyeyemi before, though Mr Fox has been on my book depository wishlist for a while now, and I found her writing style to mesh really well with my tastes.

That’s a little bit of a weird thing to say, and I realize that. I’ll say it in a different way that might be more relatable: this book definitely had the potential to become one of my favorites. I really thought that’s where it was heading – Oyeyemi really knows how to write.

Boy, Snow, Bird is, among other things, a historical narrative that deeply explores race, discrimination, and passing. These elements also help solidify the book’s connections to the Snow White fairy tale. The beginning of the book is narrated by a blonde white woman named Boy, so these elements of the plot are introduced with a light emphasis through her, but they become a huge focus later on. I thought this was an interesting way to draw in the common reader, who may not have picked up this book if it were marketed differently.

Through Boy, the reader develops empathy and then when her life gets tangled in racial discourse, there’s more outrage than would have been there with a POC narrator.
 

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Helen Oyeyemiprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Craige, Betty JeanPoetry bymedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Thompson, JoannaOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Nobody ever warned me about mirrors, so for many years I was fond of them, and believed them to be trustworthy.
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From the prizewinning author of Mr. Fox, the Snow White fairy tale brilliantly recast as a story of family secrets, race, beauty, and vanity. 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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