Boy, Snow, Bird

Author or Artist

Helen Oyeyemi
Boy, Snow, Bird

Summary

A reimagining of the fairy tale Snow White recast as a story of family secrets, race, beauty, and vanity set in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s. In the winter of 1953, Boy Novak arrives by chance in a small town in Massachusetts, looking, she believes, for beauty, the opposite of the life she's left behind in New York. She marries a local widower and becomes stepmother to his winsome daughter, Snow Whitman. A wicked stepmother is a creature Boy never imagined she would become, but when the birth of Boy's daughter, Bird, who is dark-skinned, exposes the Whitmans as light-skinned African Americans passing for white, elements of the familiar tale of aesthetic obsession begin to play themselves out. Now Boy, Snow, and Bird must confront the tyranny of the mirror to ask how much power surfaces really hold.