Helen Oyeyemi Archive

The Art of Ambiguity

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In Helen Oyeyemi’s new novel, time’s tricky manifestations in the material world point toward ambiguity itself as a poetics of unknowing and unseeing.

The Fairy Tale Logic of Helen Oyeyemi’s Gingerbread

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Mutable logic flows through every aspect of Oyeyemi’s new novel—plot, character, and space—revealing the flexibility of structures and worldviews that we normally see as rigid and immovable.

The Effluvia of Short Fiction

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By utilizing various forms of “effluvia” in their work, Amelia Gray, Alexandra Kleeman, and Helen Oyeyemi give us greater insight into the human condition. They show us why shit matters.

The Body Enchanted: Helen Oyeyemi and Consent

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In core childhood narratives, elements of magic constantly compromise the bodily autonomy of women, from the prick of your finger on an enchanted spinning wheel to the loss of your voice in exchange for legs. I approached What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours with this narrative baggage in

Five Fabulist Sentences

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As a reader, I’m a sentence-collector: for their sound, and also for the fascination of inspecting one small, discrete piece of something and seeing what it has to say about the whole.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Folk Tales

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My reading list of late includes a lot of folk and fairy tales, reappropriated and retold: Helen Oyeyemi’s Boy, Snow, Bird, Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Warrior Woman, Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. Call it my not-so-secret fondness for narratives that deconstruct and rewrite their source material.

Episodia 1.16: How to Structure Your Memoir

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Sometimes memoirists can feel as if we have very few choices about our stories. Bound by truth and memory, we can often conclude there’s not much room for our creative selves to have a say. But here’s a secret—we don’t have to pin down a narrative in the order