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What is Not Yours is Not Yours by Helen…

What is Not Yours is Not Yours (original 2016; edition 2016)

by Helen Oyeyemi (Author)

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3491131,317 (3.73)22
Title:What is Not Yours is Not Yours
Authors:Helen Oyeyemi (Author)
Collections:Read, Your library
Tags:fiction, short stories, magical realism, read in 2017

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What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi (2016)



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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
This author writes outside the box, which can be at once refreshing and befuddling. There's no doubt about her terrific imagination and great writing. Exquisite details draw in the reader only to spit him/her out on their bum at the end of the story, or maybe before that. The ride is fine. I reread often. Usually I do that when the writing is either beautiful, that special turn of phrase, or when it's necessary to reread for comprehension or memory, if I've stopped mid-story. These are longer stories.

My copy is an uncorrected proof from Goodreads Giveaways, without the errors often found in finished books these days. Maybe one or two typos is all. This is a really lovely book, unexpected. Don't look for anything usual about these stories. This is a writer to watch and have in your library.

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  Rascalstar | Jan 21, 2017 |
The open-ended nature of Oyeyemi's imagination is best represented in her short stories, both here and in Mr. Fox. While I still think Mr. Fox is her best, this is my second favorite and I'm looking forward to re-reading it soon. My favorite stories are "Books and Roses" and "Is Your Blood as Red as This?" ( )
  wyattbonikowski | Jan 11, 2017 |
Featuring the phrase “open me carefully” as an epigraph, Helen Oyeyemi's irresistible What is Not Yours is Not Yours will pique your curiosity from the very first page. Should you dare to proceed, you’ll find the Big Bad Wolf and sentient puppets coexisting with psychologists, filmmakers, and rival undergraduate student clubs in this loosely connected collection of short stories. Blending and recasting fairy tales, folklore, and aspects of contemporary culture, Oyeyemi's What is Not Yours is alternately mysterious, playful, and sly. Although What is Not Yours will delight fans of Oyeyemi's previous works, which include Mr. Fox and Boy, Snow, Bird, the book will also appeal to readers looking for a book with more than a touch of the fantastical or a wholly original read. ( )
  ParringtonWright | Aug 24, 2016 |
This collection originally attracted me because of all the glowing reviews that it received. After reading a few stories, I was tempted to quit primarily because of their nonsensical quality. Yet a persistent feeling that I was missing something important kept nagging. After finishing and a few days mulling, I concluded that my original impression seemed correct—style repeatedly trumped substance. Bear in mind that there is nothing wrong with stylish writing, but a memorable reading experience seems to demand more from the author.

These nine weird stories relate to each other because they have characters (puppets, ghosts, Greek goddesses, imaginary people, etc.) in common and seem to evoke some vague imagery of keys. The writing is indeed creative, but the plots are too convoluted, the settings too strange and coherent themes seem deeply submerged (if they exist at all). Reading these stories is a little like watching a 4th of July fireworks show —color, pyrotechnics and unpredictability are all on display, but the whole thing seems quite ephemeral.

The collection reflects Oyeyemi’s eclectic and enthusiastic writing style, but misses the mark set by her previous work. The stories have stories within them like Russian dolls. Some have a fairy tale quality. Humor is always close to the surface. Oyeyemi revels in imagery and playful story telling. Without a doubt she is a talented writer and there is a lot to digest here. However, she failed to motivate me enough to want to re-read any of these stories. In fact, most of them left me with a pervading sense of skepticism. All were gone from memory within a few days much like the 4th of July fireworks. ( )
2 vote ozzer | Jul 31, 2016 |
This is a selection of short stories with a ‘key’ theme woven throughout each piece. This was the first book I have read of Oyeyemi, but I will read definitely read more. The writing is beautiful, with elusive characters, and the listener must pay attention as the author also weaves in and out of reality. ( )
  St.CroixSue | Jun 28, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Oyeyemi has created a universe that dazzles and wounds.
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Open me carefully  -- written on an envelope containing a letter from Emily Dickinson to Susan Huntington Gilbert, June 11, 1852
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Once upon a time in Catalonia a baby was found in a chapel.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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