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Mr. Fox
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Published:
Penguin Publishing Group 2011
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description
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.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
09/29/2011
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781101547861
ASIN:
B0054TVO7U
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Helen Oyeyemi. (2011). Mr. Fox. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Helen Oyeyemi. 2011. Mr. Fox. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Helen Oyeyemi, Mr. Fox. Penguin Publishing Group, 2011.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Helen Oyeyemi. Mr. Fox. Penguin Publishing Group, 2011. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 16:03:43
Date Updated:
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fullDescription
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.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        July 25, 2011
        In this highly conceptual novel from Oyeyemi (White Is for Witching), the writer St. John Fox receives a visit from his muse Mary while his wife Daphne, whom he taught early on not to complain, sits upstairs,. Thus begins a playful but frustrating examination of storytelling, inspiration, and mythology, with a specific focus on how some male writers have traditionally treated their female characters. Oyeyemi recounts this multi-layered tale from each of her characters' viewpoints (often in letter form, and at times from alternate versions of a character, such as "Dream-Mary"), yet the larger effect feels muddled rather than illuminating. Stories-within-stories (Mr. Fox's fiction) wrestle their way in as well, and include the intriguing tale of an orphan boy in Egypt and a Nigerian girl with a heavy heart; and an impossible little girl's paid companion. Mr. Fox certainly does seem intent on having his female characters endure gruesome circumstances, a tendency that his muse appears to challenge, though this critical aspect also remains obscure. The pleasure of Oyeyemi's gorgeous language and brilliant sensibility is almost entirely overtaken by the author's preoccupation with understanding the architecture of her own book.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        September 1, 2011
        Postmodernist, meta-fictional riffs on classic tales, especially fairy tales, in which women die violently in the name of love, from Nigerian/British wunderkind Oyeyemi (The Icarus Girl, 2005, etc.).

        The Mr. Fox of the title (and there are plenty of other Mr. Foxes here) is a novelist who kills off his heroines. He is living in 1930s New York with his younger wife Daphne, whom he tends to neglect while creating his fiction—a neglect akin to adultery since he is visited with increasing frequency by his imaginary but alluring muse Mary. Mary is dissatisfied with Mr. Fox's treatment of women and challenges him, very vaguely, to a contest. Soon stories are appearing—it is never quite clear whether composed by Mr. Fox or by Mary—in which the roles of Lover/Murderer and Beloved/Victim go through a host of variations which bring to mind bits and pieces (as in body parts, pun intended) of various classic tales of misogyny. The serial killer Bluebeard casts a long shadow, as do the Grimm Brothers' sorcerer Fitcher and the French fox Reynardine, as well as less familiar characters from Yoruba folktales. In the first, simplest story, a man chops off his wife's head, thinking he can reattach it; he does but with problematic results. In more complex stories, women named Mary and men named Fox sometimes love each other but often commit gruesome acts of violence, physical and emotional. In the story "The Training At Madame de Silentio's," roles are somewhat reversed as young boys are schooled to become perfect husbands. Mingled among the titled stories are snatches of the growing marital crisis between Mr. Fox and Daphne, who is understandably jealous of Mr. Fox's devotion to his muse.

        The language is crystalline and the images startling, but forget any resemblance to linear logic in what is ultimately a treatise on love (with a clever borrowing from Cappelanus' 12th century The Art of Courtly Love), on male subjugation of women and on the creative experience.

         

         

         

        (COPYRIGHT (2011) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        May 15, 2011

        Heroines don't live happily ever after in Mr. Fox's books because he can't help killing them off. Then his muse, Mary, comes to life and drags him into a world of make-believe that tests both the limits of the genre and the idea of a lifelong bond. Oyeyemi consistently surprises (her White Is for Witching won the 2010 Somerset Maugham Award). Get for discriminating readers and watch where this one goes.

        Copyright 2011 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        September 15, 2011
        Solitary writer St. John Fox is shocked when his imaginary muse, Mary Foxe, waltzes into his study, all flesh and blood and none too pleased with him. Mary has come to take him to task for the brutal ways in which he kills his female literary creations in his stories. Mary lures Mr. Fox into telling different kinds of tales, among them one that casts her as a nanny with literary aspirations and him as a celebrated author whose attention she craves. Their stories take them from New York to Egypt to London, but while Mr. Fox is enjoying his literary jaunts with Mary, his wife, Daphne, starts to worry that she is losing her husband to another woman. When Daphne comes across a list comparing her and Mary, Mr. Fox realizes he is going to have to choose between his beguiling muse and his spirited wife. An imaginative romp through the mind of a writer, Oyeyemi's delightful novel shows that the power of creativity can be both isolating and redeeming.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2011, American Library Association.)

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shortDescription
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...
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