In June, our book club read the short story collection What is Not Yours is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi. The opinions differed a lot between book club members, but we all agreed that the puppet story was very, very strange. If you like the strange though, we have some other books you might like to try. And just in case you’re reading What is Not Yours is Not Yours with your own book club, we share some of our discussion questions as well!
Reading recommendations for What is Not Yours is Not Yours
Oyeyemi has written several books, but her novel Boy, Snow, Bird was the one that propelled her into the literary limelight. It’s about three women called Boy, Snow and Bird, the strange connection between them and an examination of race in the 1950’s.
One of Oyeyemi’s favorite books is The Loft by Marlen Haushofer, who also wrote The Wall. Just like Oyeyemi’s writing, Haushofer likes to add a bit of strange to her stories. The Loft is about a woman who suddenly starts receiving pages of her old diaries in her mailbox. Every day she reads and then burns them, trying hard to avoid her troubled youth.
The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu is a short story collection that best displays the author’s varied stories. Just like Oyeyemi’s, this collection is filled with fantasy and science fiction but always written in a realistic and human way.
- What did you make of the strange story titles? Were they thematic, ironic or something else altogether?
- How are the stories connected and what is the meaning of the keys mentioned throughout the collection?
- Did you enjoy the characters recurring in other stories? Discuss why.
See anything you like? Order them here!