Helen Oyeyemi: Boy, Snow, Bird (3498 words)

Helen Rachel Cousins (Newman University)
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Boy, Snow, Bird is Helen Oyeyemi’s fifth novel, published in 2014 and told in three parts. Part one, set in the 1950s, tells the story of Boy Novak. Raised by a violent father in Manhattan, she knows nothing about her mother, only wonders “what reasons might somebody have for leaving her kid in the care of a man like Frank Novak” (Oyeyemi, 2014, p. 48). Frank is a rat catcher who keeps starving rats in the basement; he then blinds them before using them as bait on subsequent rat catching jobs. That cruelty is also apparent in his constant physical abuse of Boy. In 1953, aged twenty, Boy runs away from home, randomly taking the last bus out of town and ending up in a small town called Flax Hill in Massachusetts. The …

Cousins, Helen Rachel. "Boy, Snow, Bird". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 March 2016
[https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=35617, accessed 23 March 2018.]

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