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Helen Oyeyemi

UK flag (b.1984)

Helen Oyeyemi is a British novelist. She was born in Nigeria and moved to London when she was four. She wrote her first novel, The Icarus Girl, while still at school studying for her A levels. After sending the first 20 pages to a publisher, she was offered two-book deal worth a rumoured £400,000. She studied Social and Political Sciences at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, graduating in 2006. Whilst at Cambridge, two of her plays, Juniper's Whitening and Victimese, were performed by fellow students to critical acclaim and subsequently published by Methuen. In 2007 Bloomsbury published her second novel, The Opposite House which is inspired by Cuban mythology. She lives in London but currently resides in New York.

Genres: Literary Fiction, Fantasy, General Fiction
New and upcoming books
   The Icarus Girl (2004)
   The Opposite House (2007)
   White Is for Witching (2009)
   Mr Fox (2011)
   Boy, Snow, Bird (2014)
   Gingerbread (2019)
   Peaces (2021)
   Parasol Against the Axe (2024)
   Juniper's Whitening / Victimese (2005)
   The BBC National Short Story Award 2010 (2010) (with others)
   What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours (2016)
   Furies (2023) (with others)
   A Cage Went in Search of a Bird (2024) (with others)
Helen Oyeyemi recommends
The Council of Animals (2021)
Nick McDonell
"This tale’s ratio of wit to wildness is positively golden. Its subtle logic and frank and tender mischief have somehow left me with the feeling of having witnessed a wake and christening combined-and I’m so very glad I attended."
If I Had Your Face (2020)
Frances Cha
"Each voice in this quartet cuts through the pages so cleanly and clearly that the overall effect is one of dangerously glittering harmony. . . . As engrossing as a war chant, or a mosaic formed with blades, every piece a memento sharpened on those unyielding barriers between us and our ideal lives."
How to Pronounce Knife (2020)
Souvankham Thammavongsa
"I love these stories. There's some fierce and steady activity in all of the sentences-something that makes them live, and makes them shift a little in meaning when you look at them again and they look back at you (or look beyond you)."

More recommendations 

Anthologies containing stories by Helen Oyeyemi
Collected Stories (2023)
edited by
Ben Rivers

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