The Icarus Girl

Oyeyemi brilliantly conjures up the raw emotions and playground banter of childhood. . . . A masterly first novel.
The New York Times Book Review

The Icarus Girl is Helen Oyeyemi’s much-acclaimed debut novel which she wrote while still at school studying for her A levels. The story follows eight-year-old Jessamy Harrison, the child of an English father and a Nigerian mother.

Possessed of an extraordinary imagination, she has a hard time fitting in at school. It is only when she visits Nigeria for the first time that she makes a friend who understands her: a ragged little girl named TillyTilly. But soon TillyTilly’s visits become more disturbing, until Jess realizes she doesn’t actually know who her friend is at all. Drawing on Nigerian mythology, Helen Oyeyemi presents a striking variation on the classic literary theme of doubles — both real and spiritual — in this lyrical and bold debut.