“Boy, Snow, Bird” is the fifth novel from Helen Oyeyemi, considered one of the most important young voices in British fiction. In this play on the classic “Snow White” tale, a woman named Boy tries to escape her dark past and avoid becoming the wicked stepmother. The novel addresses questions of race, identity, and psychological conflict, in lyrical and clever prose.
This excerpt is drawn from the opening chapter, when the future stepmother, Boy, is only fifteen…and preternaturally fond of mirrors. She looks deeply into her past, and darkly into her future.