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Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi: This Review is Very Spoilery DANGER DANGER

I can't even talk about the rest of the book apart from the ending right now, because what??? What?? I knew the end was going to be weird/discussiony because you all TOLD ME it was, but I didn't realize it was so right off the boat This Would Make Shit Go Down on Tumblr maybe-not-okayish.

Where Social Justice Policing Reaches Asinine Levels™

So if you want a basic rundown of Boy, Snow, Bird with pretty much no spoilers, it's about a young woman who abandons her abusive rat catcher father, escapes to Massachusetts or Connecticut or something, and creates a life for herself in the small town in which she winds up. Her name is Boy. The daughter of the man she marries is named Snow. Her next daughter is Bird.


There is SO MUCH about race in here, but I feel like it's one of those situations where Oyeyemi has buried most of the book ten inches underground, and you have to dig to figure it out, but quite frankly, I don't want to dig. This book would be fantastic to write a college essay about, but I'm 29 and my only school right now is Shit I Click On On Wikipedia. Which doesn't require a lot of papers.


I thought it was going to be a Snow White parallel story but then they only mentioned Cinderella and then there was racism and then ALL OF A SUDDEN something that was basically **(THIS IS WHERE THE SUPER-SPOILERS ARE)** 'a lesbian got raped and then turned into an evil transgender man' and WHAT.




Okay. Okay. Here's the thing, Helen Oyeyemi. I get that maybe transgenderism wasn't your point. And I get that all this could...somehow...have happened. But much like yes, some black people steal things, if you put that in your story, you are contributing to a cultural idea that is slowly getting fixed and you are therefore making it worse rather than helping. Transgender people have been portrayed as evil for YEARS. Are you really adding to that tradition? What's your game here? And I don't even know what to say about the lesbian rape thing. Both things seems harmful and weird and I still like your book because overall it was really good and it made me keep reading, which books rarely do, but still. What.


If anyone has insights into this, I would absolutely appreciate them. I'm still going to read Mr. Fox, because I DO like her writing, but that ending...would need explanation.


A lot of explanation.

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