The Icarus Girl

The Icarus Girl

Book - 2005
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"The Icarus Girlis an astonishing achievement." Sunday Telegraph(London) Jessamy "Jess" Harrison is eight years old. Sensitive, whimsical, possessed of an extraordinary and powerful imagination, she spends hours writing haiku, reading Shakespeare, or simply hiding in the dark warmth of the airing cupboard. As the child of an English father and a Nigerian mother, Jess just can't shake off the feeling of being alone wherever she goes, and the other kids in her class are wary of her tendency to succumb to terrified fits of screaming. Believing that a change from her English environment might be the perfect antidote to Jess's alarming mood swings, her parents whisk her off to Nigeria for the first time where she meets her mother's familyincluding her formidable grandfather. Jess's adjustment to Nigeria is only beginning when she encounters Titiola, or TillyTilly, a ragged little girl her own age. To Jess, it seems that, at last, she has found someone who will understand her. But gradually, TillyTilly's visits become more disturbing, making Jess start to realize that she doesn't know who TillyTilly is at all. Helen Oyeyemi draws on Nigerian mythology to present a strikingly original variation on a classic literary theme: the existence of "doubles," both real and spiritual, who play havoc with our perceptions and our lives. Lyrical, haunting, and compelling,The Icarus Girlis a story of twins and ghosts, of a little girl growing up between cultures and colors. It heralds the arrival of a remarkable new talent.
Publisher: New York : Nan A. Talese, 2005
Edition: 1st US ed
ISBN: 9780385513838
Characteristics: 337 p. ; 22 cm


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Jan 26, 2019

I love this book. I found so much of my childhood self in Jessamy, and grew through this character's pain. The ending is ambiguous, but I'm starting to suspect that is much of Oyeyemi's point, with magical realism and magical thinking being expertly wielded by the author. The world of "reality," with it's demand for neat little endings and easily digestible characters is easily cast aside. This author is truly gifted.

Jan 28, 2011

Beautifully and sensitively written.

EPLPicks_Teen Mar 15, 2010

written by a teen author - age 18


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Jan 26, 2019

tarynannewill thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Oct 28, 2017

blue_monkey_4760 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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