What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours

Helen Oyeyemi

Winner of the PEN Open Book Award An NPR Best Book of 2016 A Washington Post Notable Fiction Pick A PBS NewsHour Best Book of 2016 A Slate Best Book of the Year One of Esquire Magazine’s Best Books of 2016 One of Oprah.com’s 10 Favorite Books of 2016 "Transcendent." —The New York Times Book Review "Flawless. . . another masterpiece from an author who seems incapable of writing anything that's less than brilliant." —NPR From the award-winning author of Boy, Snow, Bird and 2019's Gingerbread comes an enchanting collection of intertwined stories.   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.

Riverhead Books 331 pages

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