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Monday, February 01, 2016

Helen Oyeyemi

Helen Olajumoke Oyeyemi
(source: 10 Reasons To Love Oyeyemi)
no copyright infringement intended

ForBooksSake gives ten reasons to fall for Helen Oyeyemi's books. She is: kind of literary genius (wow!) (1), feminist since childhood (okay!) (2), rates her literary output Bechdel Test (which asks whether a work of fiction features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man, so it's something about) (3), loves mythology (me too) (4), a bit of a rebel (so only a bit) (5), falls for cities and countries how we (the other mortals) fall for women (or for men) (6), Emily Dickinson fan (here she gained me) (7), refuses to be put into boxes (so she's her own woman) (8), writes great passages (such a passage just below) (9), not afraid of silence ("en boca cerada no entran moscas," no, not that kind of silence, rather listening the music of silence, as is for instance some composition by Arvo Pärt; well, she loves Shostakovitch and Debussy; that's not bad at all) (10). Here is the promised passage:

What can it mean for a fox to approach a girl? Foxes are solitary. A fox that seeks out human company is planning evil. Or it has something the matter with it. Rabies or something worse. The fox watched the girl at play, and he didn’t understand what she was doing – it certainly wasn’t fox business. Still, it interested him, and he gazed and he gazed . . . though it served no purpose to do so . . . And it was through observing the girl at play that our fox learned to recognize beauty elsewhere in the wood. (I would love to come again to this passage sometime, as I have my own story with a fox, in my head so far).

British author born in 1984, here are her novels (so far): Icarus Girl (2005) (written while still in school), The Opposite House (2007) (inspired from Cuban mythology), White Is for Witching (2009) (considered by critics as having roots in Henry James and Poe), Mr Fox (2011) (the passage above is from it), Boy, Snow, Bird (2014) (Snow White theme used as a departure point for a story about post-racial ideology and racial limbos).

(A Life in Books)



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