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Playful, ambitious, and exquisitely imagined, What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours is cleverly built around the idea of keys, literal and metaphorical. The key to a house, the key to a heart, the key to a secret—Oyeyemi’s keys not only unlock elements of her characters’ lives, they promise further labyrinths on the other side.
In “Books and Roses” one special key opens a library, a garden, and clues to at least two lovers’ fates. In “Is Your Blood as Red as This?” an unlikely key opens the heart of a student at a puppeteering school. “‘Sorry’ Doesn’t Sweeten Her Tea” involves a “house of locks,” where doors can be closed only with a key—with surprising, unobservable developments. And in “If a Book Is Locked There’s Probably a Good Reason for That Don’t You Think,” a key keeps a mystical diary locked (for good reason).
Oyeyemi’s tales span multiple times and landscapes as they tease boundaries between coexisting realities. Is a key a gate, a gift, or an invitation? What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours captivates as it explores the many possible answers.
|Dimensions||8 × 5.1 × 0.9 cm|
Helen Oyeyemi wrote her first novel, The Icarus Girl, while still at school studying for her A levels at Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School.
While studying social and political sciences at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, two of her plays, Juniper’s Whitening and Victimese, were performed by fellow students to critical acclaim and subsequently published by Methuen.
Helen Oyeyemi’s latest book, the story collection What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, was released in 2016.