This week we're reveling in the pages of Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud by Elizabeth Greenwood, What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi, and "The Bog Girl" by Karen Russell.More
I am generally a sucker for both human guinea pig stories and true crime, and Elizabeth Greenwood's Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud is a perfect combination of the two genres. Greenwood both interviews people who have faked their deaths and the experts who enable them, and also tries to fake her OWN death, in a journey that takes her halfway around the world and into less than savory places with forgers, petty thieves, and assorted other grifters. It's highly entertaining — the perfect late-summer read.
Helen Oyeyemi's What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours feels like an actual gem, something to pass down through generations. She is a writer clearly enamored by words, placing every sentence, every phrase, and every feeling exactly where it needs to be. But the words would be nothing if the stories they told weren't transformative. I felt enchanted, like I did when discovering magical realism for the first time. Helen creates her characters with such tenderness — there were a few times that I thought I would cry just because I couldn't believe I was reading something so beautiful.