What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours

What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours


Book - 2016
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The stories collected here are linked by more than the exquisitely winding prose of their creator: Helen Oyeyemi's ensemble cast of characters slip from the pages of their own stories only to surface in another. The reader is invited into a world of lost libraries and locked gardens, of marshlands where the drowned dead live and a city where all the clocks have stopped; students hone their skills at puppet school, the Homely Wench Society commits a guerrilla book-swap, and lovers exchange books and roses on St Jordi's Day. It is a collection of towering imagination, marked by baroque beauty and a deep sensuousness.
Publisher: New York :, Riverhead Books,, [2016]
ISBN: 9781594634635
Characteristics: 325 pages ; 22 cm


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Mar 15, 2019

A must-read!

Jul 09, 2018

I couldn't begin to describe these short stories except to say that I enjoyed reading this author and wanted to give this book to the next ten people I ran into. My favorite story is "Sorry Doesn't Sweeten Her Tea," which I found hilarious. I also loved "The Homely Wench Society" and the illicit book swap they perpetrated on the Bettencourters. Be prepared to be swept away to England, underground, Czechia, this century, a previous century and who knows where else. It's quite the voyage.

Oct 25, 2017

Oyeyemi is a very talented writer, who paints vivid pictures with her words. This collection of interconnected short stories feels touched by magical realism. Some stories I appreciated more than others, but the quality of writing can not be denied. In truth I think I'm not entirely smart enough to get all the subtext occurring in these stories, but I enjoyed them anyways.

Jun 06, 2017

This is the first book that I read by Oyeyemi. I loved it. I felt like I was in a dream after every time I put it down.

May 06, 2017

My interests, initially high, dwindled when read through "books and roses"(one gay and one lesbian couples' love is essential for the plot) and "a brief history of the homely wench society"(vs. The Bettencourt Society, on gender, teasingly fun.)

"'sorry' doesn't sweeten her tea" lost me in haunted ghost and gender identity.

"presence" and "Freddy barrandov checks...in?" appeared to have more realistic sense to me, but looped back to bewilderment.

"drownings" and "dornicka and the st. martin's day goose" were read as children's bedtime tale plus cruelty interpreted by adults.

My favorite is "is your blood as red as this?", that I could read over and over. But I still feel like being tricked and tickled like a kid trying to differentiate between puppet and puppeteer while conversing with a ghost.

Here I'm less charmed by narrative elegance in mystic way, more annoyed by achronological events and characters inserted (randomly) and withheld (purposefully).
Open endings - intended to allure or provoke? - not for me, I simply hope dream will awake in harsh reality, illusion will disperse in stark daylight.

Jul 16, 2016

This is the perfect book for someone who's reading her work for the first time; the number of main characters lends itself to her varying styles of writing and shows just how magical her stories can be.

Jun 22, 2016

Realism dipped in folktales. Mysterious, unsettling stories that revolve around keys and locks. More, please!

LPL_KateG Apr 04, 2016

Yep. Favorite book of 2016 so far. These stories are MAGNIFICENT. If you're not already familiar with Oyeyemi, get your hands on this and dive into her magical, descriptive style. If you're already a fan, this may become your new favorite of hers!

Mar 24, 2016

Overall, just stunning. Oyeyemi's characters are brilliant - complex and engaging and surprising. And her storylines are unexpected; I felt like my mind was being blown with each story. Just a truly inventive writer.

I do wish the collection had ended two stories earlier, because I felt like the last two stories were weaker and ended the book on a bit of a down note.

Good for fans of Kelly Link.


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