What Is Not Yours In Not Yours, by Helen Oyeyemi

Helen Oyeyemi, author of the wonderful Boy Snow Bird, has a flair for fairy tales. All of these short stories have that same ethereal, fantastical, random quality of a fairy tale, with a modern sensibility and the occasional modern phrase thrown in. All the stories are connected by characters, though you don't realize it until about halfway through reading them, and the connections are usually fairly tenuous - casual mentions or not much more. My favorite story is the very first, "books and roses," and it's also the most fairy tale-like. Oyeyemi is a beautiful writer, lush and evocative no matter what she is describing. My only concern would be that a few of the stories are a bit too random and thus lack cohesion and continuity as a story. They tend to jump around, or introduce something startling that throws the reader a bit off guard. Still, a lovely set of stories from one of the best young writers working today.


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