Mr. Fox is a (mid-century) modern fairy tale, written by English writer, Helen Oyeyemi. This one had some similarities to another recent book I read, but if anything, was even more surreal. Oyeyemi got the mid-century feel down cold. From the male-female relationships to the decor and the clothing; all subtly hinted at, but right on as far as I could see. It had the snap of 60s television or movies. And then, it just stepped off the edge.
Mr. Fox is a writer, and his muse, Mary Foxe, is a figment he's had for years, but has become so real, that Mr. Fox is beginning to see and talk to her the way a 4 year old may do with their imaginary friend.
Mrs. Fox is not amused.
Mary Foxe has returned to visit Mr. Fox, in his study, after years of separation. Mary is concerned that Mr. Fox is increasingly misogynistic in his writing, or has maybe always been so, and as his muse, she feels obligated to lead him on a better path. What follows is a series of fables that Fox and Foxe write for one another, or together, or with the other's inspiration, in an effort to find a way forward. These short stories, fables and tales, are interspersed with increasingly strained scenes featuring Mr. & Mrs. Fox, and the 'other woman.'
Its not always clear whose voice the narrative is in, and I'm not sure it really matters, as the lives of this couple and their third wheel spin toward the future. The tales tell us as much about the protagonists as the main body of the text does, but in ways that aren't typically available to writers and readers.
This was fun to read, odd, entertaining, and ultimately, delightful. I'll keep my eye out for Ms.
Oyeyemi's work in the future.