Publisher description for The Icarus girl / Helen Oyeyemi.

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Counter Jessamy “Jess” Harrison is an eight-year-old caught between two different worlds. The daughter of a British father and a Nigerian mother, she has always felt like a misfit. She is smart and precocious, but can’t seem to get along in school; she throws tantrums at random, making life a challenge for her parents. 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 visit relatives in Nigeria.

Jess’s adjustment to Nigeria is only beginning when she meets Titiola, or TillyTilly, who seems to be invisible to everyone else. Tilly quickly insinuates herself into Jess’s life, appearing out of nowhere even after Jess returns to England. At first Tilly is Jess's comfort and delight, but gradually her visits become more disturbing until, eventually, she reveals that Jess had a stillborn twin, and that she intends to be the sister Jess never had.–

THE ICARUS GIRL is 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. With grace and confidence, Helen Oyeyemi skillfully blends the motifs of Nigerian folklore with the complexities of cultural displacement to capture the mysterious power of myth to transform reality.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Racially mixed children Fiction, Imaginary companions Fiction, Doppelgčangers Fiction, Nigeria Fiction, England Fiction, Girls Fiction, Twins Fiction