What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours (Helen Oyeyemi)


This extraordinary collection has become one of my all-time favorites!! I’m not typically a short story buff, since I read predominantly for characters and have a hard time getting invested in such a short span of pages…but Oyeyemi’s thoughtful prose is not your ordinary short story material. When I picked it up in the bookstore, I got that rare mixture of hunger and excitement that usually leads to one of those nights where I choose story over sleep (which is exactly what happened).

These stories are positively enchanting; the fact that she has organized the collection around the idea of keys (both literal and figurative) was tantalizing enough that I bought the book on a lark. I don’t regret it. In fact, I’ve gifted it to a handful of others since finishing the collection — it truly is a gem of a book!

At times whimsical, at times melancholy, and at times touching, this collection ensnared my imagination immediately.

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