What is not yours is not yours / Helen Oyeyemi.

Main Author: Oyeyemi, Helen,
Published: Toronto, Ontario, Canada : Hamish Hamilton, 2016.
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Review by Booklist Review

Oyeyemi, who penned the magical novels Mr. Fox (2011) and Boy Snow Bird (2014), offers an equally imaginative set of nine short stories. Lovers populate the pages of these fable-like tales, pining passionately as their quest for a beloved takes them on bewitching journeys. For Radha in is your blood as red as this?, it means enrolling in a puppetry school in pursuit of Myrna, the beautiful instructor who catches her eye at a party. Myrna puts Radha off by choosing another student as her apprentice, but Radha is not to be deterred as she studies under another instructor and is given a puppet who used to be a live woman. In books and roses, Montse, a laundress who was left at a chapel as a baby and raised by monks, learns about her mother's passionate love affair with a wealthy recluse as she herself falls in love with a painter haunted by her own lost love. And love turns to loathing when a teenager's pop star idol brutalizes a prostitute in sorry' doesn't sweeten her tea. A beguiling collection.--Huntley, Kristine Copyright 2016 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In her first story collection, Oyeyemi (Boy, Snow, Bird) conjures present-day Europe, made enticingly strange by undercurrents of magic, and populated by ghosts, sentient puppets, and possible witches alongside middle-aged psychiatrists, tyrants, and feminist undergrads. Loosely linked by a theme of keys and doors, many of the stories feature female protagonists discovering their sexuality or coming into their own. In "'Sorry' Doesn't Sweeten Her Tea," 14-year-old Aisha and Tyche, her father's colleague, send the goddess Hecate to torment teen idol Matyas Füst for beating a prostitute; in "A Brief History of the Homely Wench Society," Aisha's sister, Dayang, is a member of a women's society at Cambridge University, waging a good-natured war against the Bettencourt Society, a rival all-male club. "Drownings" is an allegorical tale set in a dictatorship where citizens are "drowned in the gray marshlands deep in the heart of the country." "Dornicka and the St. Martin's Day Goose" is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, draw on Eastern European history and lore. And in "Presence," a married couple in London undergo a pharmaceutical trial causing them to hallucinate a son they never had, a "makeless" boy. Readers will be drawn to Oyeyemi's contagious enthusiasm for her characters and deep sympathy for their unrequited or thwarted loves. Agent: Jin Auh, Wylie Agency. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Review by Library Journal Review

The prolific and immensely talented Oyeyemi presents fantastical short stories that all revolve around a key, whether literal or metaphorical. (Prepub Alert, 9/15/15) © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by School Library Journal Review

Keys are central to the short stories in this collection; they can either open or lock away something of significance for the characters. All of the tales are intertwined with themes of search and possible retrieval, which will draw young adult readers into worlds that are sometimes secretive and sometimes elusive; they will be able to easily identify with that search of self that so often comes with adolescence. The characters are relatable to YA readers, from the young woman looking for her long-lost mother and heritage to the hopeful music fan wanting to find the best in a broken artist. These worlds and characters are complex and passionate, and readers will find themselves longing for more once the stories end. Even though the settings are quite strange (a locked library, a city of stopped clocks, a marshland of the drowned), there's a complexity here and the brilliant prose gently pulls readers in, encouraging them to identify with the characters. VERDICT A must-add to libraries, this work will appeal to fans of literary fiction.-April Sanders, Spring Hill College, Mobile, AL © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.