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Boy, Snow, Bird: A Novel


Order now to get it by: Thursday January 19 - Saturday January 21

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Product ID: 235744

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Description

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, March 2014: 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 The Marrow of Tradition and, most notably, Passing by Nella Larsen, Boy,
Snow, Bird 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? Boy, Snow, Bird is a
retelling of Snow White, 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. --Kevin Nguyen

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