An exclusive book club moderated by LARB's Editor-in-Chief Tom Lutz


Tom Lutz handpicks four books a year and conducts an exclusive book club with LARB members. Books (or ebooks) are shipped to your door in advance with a personal introductory letter from Tom. The book club meeting is held online, as a live webinar chat.

For questions about Tom’s Book Club, email us at

Our Next Book Club

BOY, SNOW, BIRD by Helen Oyeyemi

ENROLLMENT FOR THE HELEN OYEYEMI BOOK CLUB IS NOW CLOSED. Members signing up after May 28th will be enrolled in the next book club event.


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About the Book

From the prize-winning author of Mr. Fox, Helen Oyeyemi brilliantly recasts the Snow White fairy tale as a story of family secrets, race, beauty, and vanity. This spring, Tom's Book Club celebrates what is already one of the year’s most widely acclaimed novels: 

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. Among them, Boy, Snow, and Bird confront the tyranny of the mirror to ask how much power surfaces really hold.

Dazzlingly inventive and powerfully moving, Boy, Snow, Bird is an astonishing and enchanting novel. With breathtaking feats of imagination, Helen Oyeyemi confirms her place as one of the most original and dynamic literary voices of our time.

“...gloriously unsettling… evoking Toni Morrison, Haruki Murakami, Angela Carter, Edgar Allan Poe, Gabriel García Márquez, Chris Abani and even Emily Dickinson,” - New York Times Book Review

Helen Oyeyemi has fully transformed from a literary prodigy into a powerful, distinctive storyteller…Transfixing and surprising.”—Entertainment Weekly (Grade: A)

“I don’t care what the magic mirror says; Oyeyemi is the cleverest in the land…daring and unnerving… Under Oyeyemi’s spell, the fairy-tale conceit makes a brilliant setting in which to explore the alchemy of racism, the weird ways in which identity can be transmuted in an instant — from beauty to beast or vice versa.” – Ron Charles, The Washington Post

Previous Book Club Events

Jonthan Lethem

Jonathan Lethem in Discussion with Tom Lutz

October 5, 2013,
Thursday, 7:00 pm PST

Aimee Bender

Aimee Bender in Discussion with Tom Lutz

February 9, 2014,
Sunday, 3:00 pm PST