When I saw that award-winning British author Helen Oyeyemi had written a new story collection, What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, I couldn’t resist. I’m not going to call them short stories because some are quite long while others are quite short. There is something about her multi-layered writing style that lures me like a siren song. I just can’t help myself! Once again, I had no idea what I was going to find but that’s part of her writing’s appeal.
What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours is like opening a surprise gift from a favorite relative. I have no clue what’s going to be in the package but I know it’s going to be wonderful. I read a lot of author’s novels for the story thread alone; however, I read Ms. Oyeyemi’s work as much to drink in her beautiful prose as to find out what happens. I know I’m going to be just as mesmerized by her lyrical phrasing and the gradual peeling away of layers. You can read her work for the surface content or take a much deeper dive into the subtle layers underneath, and that’s a delightful experience.
“Oyeyemi has an eye for the gently perverse, the odd detail that turns the ordinary marvelously, frighteningly strange.” The Boston Globe
The collection of tales in What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours all revolve around keys: keys to houses, keys to hearts, keys to books, keys to psyches, and keys to the soul. Each is a delightful tale that contains insights into the human condition; the admirable, the good, and the not admirable at all. And one of you is going to win a copy in our giveaway, so be sure to enter!
Here’s a brief overview of the stories contained in What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, with a few tidbits about some of them:
Books and Roses: In this story, two seemingly very different women have unlocked key aspects of their lives by gaining access to a garden and a book.
“Sorry” Doesn’t Sweeten Her Tea: This story is about locks, locks, and more locks that only certain kinds of keys can unlock. Below is a video of the author reading it at a 2015 British Council Literature Seminar. This is a long video, so watch as much or as little as you like. You will get a good idea of Ms. Oyeyemi’s flowing style and the layers her stories contain.
Is Your Blood as Red as This?: This story looks at students at an unusual puppeteer school – one using keys that transform lives by unlocking students’ hearts.
A Brief History of the Homely Wench Society: The Homely Wench Society was originally founded in response to a fraternity’s misogynistic behavior toward less than “perfect” women. Can the two groups find a key to common ground to unlock the walls keeping them apart long after the reasons for those walls have disappeared?
Doricka and the St. Martin’s Day Goose:
Freddy Barrandov Checks…In?:
If a Book Is Locked There’s Probably a Good Reason For That Don’t You Think: In this story, a diary can only be opened by a key. Most diaries have locks, and there’s a reason they’re locked. This one in particular is locked for a reason. What will happen if the key is used?
Each story in this collection has many layers to it, and the keys are the key (pun intended) to unlocking those layers. You can read them on the surface; however, I suspect you won’t be able to resist exploring them more deeply. That’s one of Ms. Oyeyemi’s talents, getting us to look at things in a whole new way. She addresses topical subjects, ones we don’t talk about but definitely wonder about. And she makes exploring them intriguing, and at least semi-safe. Don’t get me wrong – she doesn’t pull any punches. I have become a fan of her work and I can’t wait to see what she writes next! If this collection sounds intriguing then be sure to enter our giveaway, and/or get a copy now!
Can’t wait to read it? What Is Yours Is Not Yours is available from your favorite online bookseller. To get it now, click on the link below and you’ll have it to read asap.
I’d love to get your comments on What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, Helen Oyeyemi and/or her other work, and/or this review. Click here to read our review of Boy, Snow, Bird.
One lucky reader will win an ARC (advance readers copy) of What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi!
1) The deadline for entries is Saturday night, 4/2/2016, at 11:59pm EDST. No entries after that date/time will be eligible.
2) This giveaway is open to entries with U.S. mailing addresses only because we do not ship books outside of the U.S.
3) You must be at least 15 years old to enter this giveaway.
4) You must use the Rafflecopter form. Even if leaving a comment is part of the giveaway, you must use the form in addition to leaving the comment for the comment to count as an entry.
5) If you already follow PopcornReads on Twitter or Linky, you must still complete that part of the Rafflecopter form for your follow to count as an entry.
6) If you do not provide a complete mailing address in the Rafflecopter form, your entry will not be eligible. We will use your mailing address to ship your book to you. Please allow 2-3 weeks for book delivery.
7) That’s it – it’s a very easy giveaway, so have fun and best of luck!
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