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Extended Audio Sample Boy, Snow, Bird: A Novel, by Helen Oyeyemi Click for printable size audiobook cover
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 5.00 (1 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Helen Oyeyemi Narrator: Susan Bennett, Carra Patterson Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From the prizewinning author of Mr. Fox comes the Snow White fairy tale brilliantly recast as a story of family secrets, race, beauty, and vanity.

In the winter of 1953, Boy Novak arrives by chance in a small town in Massachusetts, looking, she believes, for beauty—the opposite of the life she’s left behind in New York. She marries a local widower and becomes stepmother to his winsome daughter, Snow Whitman. A wicked stepmother is a creature Boy never imagined she’d become, but elements of the familiar tale of aesthetic obsession begin to play themselves out when the birth of Boy’s daughter, Bird, who is dark-skinned, exposes the Whitmans as light-skinned African Americans passing for white. Among them, Boy, Snow, and Bird confront the tyranny of the mirror to ask how much power surfaces really hold.

Dazzlingly inventive and powerfully moving, Boy, Snow, Bird is an astonishing and enchanting novel. With breathtaking feats of imagination, Helen Oyeyemi confirms her place as one of the most original and dynamic literary voices of our time.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This imaginative novel explores identity, race, and family, arguing in brilliant language that black, white, good, evil, beauty, and monstrosity are different sides of a single, awesome truth.”

    People

  • “Superbly inventive…Examines the thorniness of race and the poisonous ways in which vanity and envy can permeate and distort perception.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Gloriously unsettling…The greatest joy of reading Oyeyemi will always be style: jagged and capricious at moments, lush and rippled at others, always singular, like the voice-over of a fever dream.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “With her fifth novel, twenty-nine-year-old Helen Oyeyemi has fully transformed from a literary prodigy into a powerful, distinctive storyteller.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “The outline of [Oyeyemi’s] remarkable career glimmers with pixie dust...Her latest novel, Boy, Snow, Bird, continues on this bewitching path, winding along the forest of make-believe…Under Oyeyemi’s spell, the fairy-tale conceit makes a brilliant setting in which to explore the alchemy of racism, the weird ways in which identity can be transmuted in an instant—from beauty to beast or vice versa.”

    Washington Post

  • “Riveting, brilliant, and emotionally rich retelling of Snow White…Dense with fully realized characters, startling images, original observations and revelatory truths, this masterpiece engages the reader’s heart and mind as it captures both the complexities of racial and gender identity in the 20th century and the more intimate complexities of love in all its guises.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week, March 2014
  • A 2014 New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • Selected for the March 2014 Indie Next List
  • One of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2014
  • A BookPage Best Book of 2014
  • A 2014 New York Times Notable Book
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About the Author
Author Helen Oyeyemi

Helen Oyeyemi was born in Nigeria and raised in London. She is the author of The Icarus Girl, which was completed before her nineteenth birthday, The Opposite House, which was a nominee for the 2008 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and White Is for Witching, which won the 2010 Somerset Maugham Award.

About the Narrator

Carra Patterson is an actor known for her roles in Why Did I Get Married Too?, Out There, and Gun Hill Road.