Helen Oyememi wrote her first book while studying for her “A” levels in Britain. She is of Nigerian descent, and has earned critical raves for her work which includes four novels and two plays. She writes mostly speculative fiction.
Descriptions from Amazon.com
The Icarus Girl
White is for Witching
“Miranda is at home—homesick, home sick …”
As a child, Miranda Silver developed pica, a rare eating disorder that causes its victims to consume nonedible substances. The death of her mother when Miranda is sixteen exacerbates her condition; nothing, however, satisfies a strange hunger passed down through the women in her family. And then there’s the family house in Dover, England, converted to a bed-and-breakfast by Miranda’s father. Dover has long been known for its hostility toward outsiders. But the Silver House manifests a more conscious malice toward strangers, dispatching those visitors it despises. Enraged by the constant stream of foreign staff and guests, the house finally unleashes its most destructive power.
With distinct originality and grace, and an extraordinary gift for making the fantastic believable, Helen Oyeyemi spins the politics of family and nation into a riveting and unforgettable mystery.
The Opposite House
Lyrical and intensely moving, The Opposite House explores the thin wall between myth and reality through the alternating tales of two young women. Growing up in London, Maja, a singer, always struggled to negotiate her Afro-Cuban background with her physical home. Yemaya is a Santeria emissary who lives in a mysterious somewherehouse with two doors: one opening to London, the other to Lagos. She is troubled by the ease with which her fellow emissaries have disguised themselves behind the personas of saints and by her inability to recognize them. Interweaving these two tales. Helen Oyeyemi, acclaimed author of The Icarus Girl, spins a dazzling tale about faith, identity, and self-discovery.
Fairytale romances end with a wedding. The fairytales that don’t get more complicated. In this book, celebrated writer Mr. Fox can’t stop himself from killing off the heroines of his novels, and neither can his wife, Daphne. It’s not until Mary, his muse, comes to life and transforms him from author into subject that his story begins to unfold differently. Meanwhile, Daphne becomes convinced that her husband is having an affair, and finds her way into Mary and Mr. Fox’s game. And so Mr. Fox is offered a choice: Will it be a life with the girl of his dreams, or a life with an all-too-real woman who delights him more than he cares to admit?
Junipers Whitening and Victimese
“Tell me this - is it true that if you make someone die, and they come out the other side, it doesn’t matter? I’m sure something clung to Lazarus. Something must’ve shone through him.”
In Aleph, Beth and Juniper’s nightmare house, kindness is entrapment, and resurrection is a weapon. Aleph love/hates Beth, Beth love/hates Aleph, and all Juniper knows is that Beth can’t seem to stop being murdered.
One thing above all: none of them must look out of the window.
“I was thinking, Eve, that you need to touch bottom - just so you know you can do it. So you know it’s not that difficult; so you know that you don’t have to tunnel far; so you know that you’re not that actually as deep as you think you are.”
Eve is unable to leave her student room but unable to bear staying in it. In harming herself she hopes to demonstrate her courage and independence to both herself and her friends. But her sister’s arrival and need for her friendship forces her to face painful truths and to examine whether it is possible to temper emotional courage with the humanity to give and ask for aid.