Helen Oyeyemi - What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours

Review :

Strange and surreal, What is Not Yours is Not Yours provokes thought and amazement at every turn. Across nine loosely interlocked tales a wide cast of characters, mostly queer and of color, navigate an alternate reality full of fantasy, violence, and desire. Teenaged puppeteers rapidly fall in and out of love with each other, a tyrant tries to literally drown out dissent in his kingdom, a son frets over taking his father's place as maintenance man at a labyrinthine hotel. All the pieces are saturated with secrets and center on the motif of lock/key, question/answer; each moves at a dizzying pace, contains stories within stories, and ends ambiguously, without having resolved its many conflicts. Favoring shock, symbolism, and non sequitur, Oyeyemi has a flair for the absurd, and in breathless prose the author sketches a portrait of a world that's as witty and welcoming as it is traumatic and sorrowful. Favorites include "is your blood as red as this", "drownings," "freddy barrandov," and "if a book is locked."

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