By Stephan Lee
Updated March 03, 2016 at 03:55 PM EST

In her first short-story collection, Oyeyemi captures the off-kilter fairy-tale magic of her 2014 masterwork, Boy, Snow, Bird. The stories all involve keys sometimes metaphorical, just as often literal—but they’re not constrained by the conceit. Shifting in genre and tone from explicitly fantastical to subtly ethereal, the tales gain entrance into a range of odd worlds, including a school for aspiring puppet masters and a sort of dystopian weight-loss clinic. Oyeyemi writes with mastery, sometimes keeping her prose sparse and declarative only to unleash a bounty of description and humor a sentence later. B+

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