In "Books and Roses", one special key opens a library, a garden, and clues to at least two lovers' fates. In "Is Your Blood as Red as This?", an unlikely key opens the heart of a student at a puppeteering school. "'Sorry' Doesn't Sweeten Her Tea" involves a "house of locks", where doors can be closed only with a key - with surprising unobservable developments. And in "If a Book Is Locked There's Probably a Good Reason for That Don't You Think", a key keeps a mystical diary locked (for good reason).
"Another great read from Helen!"
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' d become, but elements of the familiar tale of aesthetic obsession begin to play themselves out when the birth of Boy' s daughter, Bird, who is dark-skinned, exposes the Whitmans as light-skinned African Americans passing for white.
"For Literary Lovers"
One for the Trouble: Book Slam, Volume One is the first release from the UK’s premier literary event. Eighteen Book Slam alumni, from household names like Irvine Welsh and William Boyd to newcomers like Kate Tempest and Sophie Woolley, were approached to take a song title for inspiration for a new short story or poem. Some took this literally (Jon McGregor’s moving reimagining of A House’s 'Endless Art', for example); others suggestively....
Jessamy "Jess" Harrison is an eight year old caught between two worlds. Born to a British father and a Nigerian mother, she has forever felt like she doesn't belong. Jessamy is precocious but has difficulty getting along in school; she throws tantrums seemingly at random and makes life a challenge for her parents. Believing that a change might be the perfect antidote to Jess's troubles, her parents whisk her off to Nigeria to visit relatives. But Jessamy's plight is only beginning....
"Will Leave You Thinking"
Fairy-tale romances end with a wedding and the fairy tales don't get complicated. In this book, 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....
The 5 shortlisted titles for the BBC National Short Story Award 2010 administered in partnership with Booktrust, containing:Tea at the Midland by David ConstantineDavid Constantine 2010 Haywards Heath by Aminatta FornaAminatta Forna 2010Butcher’s Perfume by Sarah HallSarah Hall 2010If It Keeps on Raining by Jon McGregorJon McGregor 2010My Daughter the Racist by Helen OyeyemiHelen Oyeyemi 2010
Boy: Novak turns 20 and takes a bus from New York to the end of the line, Flax Hill, Massachusetts. Here she finds Snow, a mild-mannered and deeply cherished girl. Snow displays a certain inscrutability that's simply harmless, until Boy gives birth to Snow's sister, Bird. When Bird is born Boy is forced to re-evaluate the image Snow's family have presented to her, and Boy, Snow, and Bird are broken apart.