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Helen Oyeyemi , author of Boy, Snow, Bird

In the winter of 1953, Boy Novak arrives by chance in a small town in Massachusetts, looking, she believes, for beauty. She marries a local widower and becomes stepmother to his winsome daughter, Snow Whitman. Elements of the familiar tale of aesthetic obsession begin to play themselves out when the birth of Boy’s dark-skinned daughter, Bird, exposes the Whitmans as light-skinned African Americans passing for white.