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What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours
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GROUP READS > October FICTION selection WHAT IS YOURS IS NOT YOURS

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message 1: by El (new) - rated it 2 stars

El | 756 comments Mod
Our October selection for Fiction will be Helen Oyeyemi's 2016 collection of stories, What is Not Yours is Not Yours.

Anyone planning on reading this with us this month? Has anyone read it already? Share your thoughts!


message 2: by Kay (new)

Kay | 72 comments I have only read Oyeyemi's first book - The Icarus Girl - and loved it. Not a big fan of magical realism, but I like indigenous/cultural belief elements (I grew up in a country that is very superstitious, so totally related to the Icarus Girl's supernatural elements, even though I am not from Nigeria). I also liked Oyeyemi's writing style. That being said I've heard this short story collection is full of magical realism, so I am hesitant to pick it up.


message 3: by El (new) - rated it 2 stars

El | 756 comments Mod
I've heard that a lot when it comes to magical realism, so you're not alone, Kay. Sometimes it works for me and sometimes it doesn't. I love Isabel Allende, for example, but then other books labeled magical realism fall short. I'm curious to see how I feel about this one. I haven't ready any Oyeyemi yet.

I put in a request the other day through my library, so hopefully it will come in soon. I'm currently in a mental space where short stories might be very good for me.


message 4: by El (new) - rated it 2 stars

El | 756 comments Mod
I'm about halfway through this book and not really sure what to think yet. This is my first experience with Oyeyemi, so maybe that's part of the issue - plus being busy and not being able to give it the time it probably deserves.

I like the concept of the stories, and I appreciate the strong characters, their vast experiences, the diversity of the characters, etc. But the writing itself is tripping me up, like I've forgotten how to read or something. It's really hard to explain, but as I read, I feel like I'm not connecting very well to what is happening.

Curious if this is typical for her writing, or if I'm just on my own feeling that way? Which is fine, just thought I'd ask if anyone else felt similarly. :)

Anyone else reading this? Would love to hear someone's thoughts!


message 5: by El (new) - rated it 2 stars

El | 756 comments Mod
I finished reading this collection yesterday on my ride home from work.

I think I will land on a 3-star rating for this one. The last few stories worked for me so much better than the first ones, though they were still somewhat (for me) impenetrable.

This does not deter me from wanting to read more by Oyeyemi. I'm keeping all of her other books on my list and cannot wait to check them out to see if they work for me better. As I mentioned before, I appreciate the topics she touched on in these stories, and I have a feeling the novels might work for me all around better if there's an opportunity to really delve into the characters and stories.


message 6: by Kay (new)

Kay | 72 comments Ah, I never managed to get to this collection, but will add my comments whenever I do. I am not surprised at your reaction, though, El, as I'm expecting the same for my own reading, I do still recommend her first book The Icarus Girl wholeheartedly.


message 7: by El (new) - rated it 2 stars

El | 756 comments Mod
Thanks, Kay, I will bump The Icarus Girl up on my reading list. Would love to hear your thoughts on this collection whenever you get a moment to check it out.


Anita Fajita Pita (anitafajitapitareada) | 384 comments Mod
So I Finally started this last night and I'm really in love with it. I've read 2 stories so far. The first took me a minute to get into but then I was suddenly just done. The writing was reminiscent of Gabriel Marquez's one hundred years of solitude , and when I finished, I was ready to immediately reread it.

The second, sorry does not sweeten her tea, made me feel overwhelmed - but in a good way. There were almost too many different stories within this short story. But I Really loved reading it.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Have the book to read... Posting here so I remember to come back here if I have comments.


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