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HELEN OYEYEMI
20-year-old British novelist and playwright!
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Witty Helen Oyeyemi was born in Nigeria on September 28, 1984 to a British father and Nigerian mother, both Catholics. When she was 4, the family emigrated to England where she is now a second-year student of Social and Political Sciences. Helen wrote her novel The Icarus Girl, which centers on 8-year-old Jessamy and her imaginary friend TillyTilly, in seven weeks while studying for her A-levels: she finished it just before her 19th birthday. She signed the contract and got her grades back on the same day, collecting on a two book deal reportedly for 400,000! It was published in December 2004 and already sold 20,000 copies in Britain alone!

The Icarus Girl, which will soon be avialable in 13 different countries, deals with depression and loneliness, and the Yoruba beliefs about twins and the spirit world. Oyeyemi, whose troubled childhood is reflected in Jessamy's story, was clinically depressed and suicidal by 15. She has said that writing Jessamy's story fixed her up. Oyeyemi is now working on her second novel, about Afro-Cuban myths and the gods that slaves brought to the new world.
Helen Oyeyemi
Helen's Nigerian first name is Olajumoke, which means "everybody join hands to take care of her".

She says that she "doesn't see writing as a full-time career", and that she wouldn't mind being a librarian.

Helen has had many fears in her life, including aliens, the IRA, and ghost, but is most afraid of "white noise".

Did you know?: Helen and her sister played with an imaginary friend named Chimmy, who was run over when Helen was 8. She is the oldest of three children, Mary, 16, who found Helen after her suicide attempt, and Tony, 7, who is profoundly autistic.
Chat in Helen's forum,
click here!
BOOKS BY: HELEN
(click title go to Amazon.com!)
The Icarus Girl
Juniper's Whitening/Victimese
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