Mr. Fox (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Bookseller: Ellyne
Title: Mr. Fox


When one reached a certain point in life one knows that there is no new story under the sun. One can only hope to find smething that is retold well and inventively. That is why I am so happy to have discovered this delightful novel by Helen Oyeyemi which was published a couple of years ago. Not only does it retell the blue-beard myth, it also riffs on it, and on the tale of Reynardine and on other myths, many, many times as the three main characters appear and reappear in an ongoing story of love anbd art. Mr. Fox is a writer in whose stories the women are always killed; MAry Foxe, who challenges him to write a story where the woman does not die, is his muse; and Daphne, who searches for her place in all this, is his wife.

This is an incredibly clever and charming look at the process of writing and creating; the power and life of words. And, of course, at relaitonships. It may confuse in the beginning but I urge you toride the wave. Eventually you will catch it and go with it right to the end with no regrets.

— From Ellyne's Past Picks 1


Winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Fiction
One of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists

From the prizewinning young writer oWhat Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, Gingerbread, and Peaces comes a brilliant and inventive story of love, lies, and inspiration.

Fairy-tale romances end with a wedding, and the fairy tales don't get complicated. In this book, the celebrated writer Mr. Fox can't stop himself from killing off the heroines of his novels, and neither can his wife, Daphne. It's not until Mary, his muse, comes to life and transforms him from author into subject that his story begins to unfold differently.

Mary challenges Mr. Fox to join her in stories of their own devising; and in different times and places, the two of them seek each other, find each other, thwart each other, and try to stay together, even when the roles they inhabit seem to forbid it. Their adventures twist the fairy tale into nine variations, exploding and teasing conventions of genre and romance, and each iteration explores the fears that come with accepting a lifelong bond. Meanwhile, Daphne becomes convinced that her husband is having an affair, and finds her way into Mary and Mr. Fox's game. And so Mr. Fox is offered a choice: Will it be a life with the girl of his dreams, or a life with an all-too-real woman who delights him more than he cares to admit?

The extraordinarily gifted Helen Oyeyemi has written a love story like no other.  Mr. Fox is a magical book, endlessly inventive, as witty and charming as it is profound in its truths about how we learn to be with one another.

About the Author

Helen Oyeyemi is the author of five novels, most recently White Is for Witching, which won a 2010 Somerset Maugham Award, Mr. Fox, which won a 2012 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and Boy, Snow, Bird. In 2013, she was named one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists. She lives in Prague.

Praise For…

 “Oyeyemi’s writing is gorgeous and resonant and fresh . . . a shimmering landscape pulsating with life.”—Aimee Bender, The New York Times Book Review

“Oyeyemi has an eye for the gently perverse, the odd detail that turns the ordinary marvelously, frighteningly strange.”—The Boston Globe

“Dazzling.”—The Washington Post

“Cheeky and imaginative.”—The New Yorker

“Startling, beautiful . . . [Mr. Fox] should not be ignored.”—Chicago Sun Times

Mr. Fox is a wonderfully original novel, full of images and turns of phrase so arresting, so vivid and inventive, its pages almost glow with them. Helen Oyeyemi has given us a work of playful charm and serious narrative pleasure.”—Sarah Waters, author of The Little Stranger

"A sly, tender, and elegant novel, graced with a magical charm that makes this novel’s wisdom about love and loss all the more captivating to read. Mr. Fox is a novel for those who love stories and who believe in their singular power to alter and heal our fragile souls."--Dinaw Mengestu, author of The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears and How to Read the Air

Product Details
ISBN: 9781594486180
ISBN-10: 1594486182
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publication Date: November 6th, 2012
Pages: 336
Language: English