- Originally from Vermont, I now live in North Carolina. My work can be found in recent issues of REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters, The Jabberwock Review, The Emerson Review, Storyglossia, The MacGuffin, Confrontation, Passages North, SmokeLong Quarterly, elimae, wigleaf, and Pank, among others, and forthcoming from Gargoyle #57 and REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters. One of my stories has been translated into Farsi by Asadollah Amraee, and many others by Jalil Jafari, two of which have been published in the Iranian journal, Golestaneh Magazine. For two years I worked as an assistant editor for Narrative Magazine. Currently, I serve as a mentor for Dzanc's Creative Writing Sessions. I'm working on two novels and a short story collection. In May, I was awarded the Carol Houck Smith Contributor Scholarship for the 2011 Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Illuminate: Icarus Girl
Helen Oyeyemi’s "Icarus Girl" is a haunting first novel. Eight-year-old Jessamy is bothered by intensities and prone to screaming fits. She’s in between worlds: in between England and Nigeria; in between childhood and adulthood; in between rational and irrational; in between real and spirit worlds. When her parents take her to Nigeria to meet her grandfather and cousins, she also meets TillyTilly, a girl only she can see, a girl who is not a girl, but either a malevolent force or an alter ego, or both. When TillyTilly inexplicably shows up back in England, things take a dark turn. "Icarus Girl" explores the painfulness of not fully belonging and Oyeyemi captures brilliantly the mind of a clever and imaginative child. The language is poetic, lyrical, and as haunting as the premise. And of course, I won’t mention she wrote it when only eighteen. Oops, I just did.
You can read the first chapter of "Icarus Girl" online at Doubleday.