Book Shuffle: Women Who Slip Through Your Fingers Like Smoke

Book Shuffle is a monthly feature created by Shannon of Clockwork Bibliophile. On the 15th of each month, shuffle your music library (or choose “I’m Feeling Lucky” on Google Play Music, if you use it like I do) and connect a book with the first song that appears.

This month’s song is:

“Velvet” by a-ha

Her skin is like velvet
So I went to her home
Her place like a palace
With things you can’t own
Her skin is like velvet
And hear how she sings
Hear how she sings

“Velvet” was originally written by Savoy in 1996 and was covered by a-ha in 2000. In the cover, they replaced the guitars with sitars, adding to the soothing, otherworldly sound. They also gave it the strange and slightly disturbing music video above.

The music and lyrics remind me of:

Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi

What nobody knew about the docile girl from Osogbo was that her heart was too heavy, and that almost from birth she had felt its weight, a gravitational pull that invited her to her grave. Her heart was heavy because it was open, and so things filled it, and so things rushed out of it, but still the heart kept beating, tough and frighteningly powerful and meaning to shrug off the rest of her and continue on its own.

Helen Oyeyemi, Mr. Fox

It is arguable whether I’ve ever related to the emotions of a character more than I did with “the docile girl from Osogbo” in Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi. Like the girl sung about in “Velvet,” the women of Mr. Fox slip through your fingers like smoke when you reach out to touch them.


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