Thursday, 27 February 2014

ATF Eyes On: British-Nigerian Writer Helen Olajumoke Oyeyemi

Meet Helen Olajumoke Oyeyemi, a 29 year old Nigerian born, south east London raised writer who publishes her fifth novel Boy, Snow, Bird (Picador) today.

Helen describes herself as an old- fashioned writer who likes to interfere with stories, re-writing classics from a very early age. Her first novel The Icarus Girl was written when she was 18, while studying for her A-levels and published 2 years later when she was a 20 year old Cambridge undergraduate. Helen says she developed a love for travelling after she was randomly attacked at Green Park one summer afternoon in 2006,  with stints in Budapest, Berlin, Toronto, New York, Prague and Paris since then.

She says her parents moved from Ibadan, Oyo State Nigeria to London some 25 years ago and definitely didn't have it easy settling down here. Describing their nature, Helen says she inherited a lot from both parents including her mothers love for perfume, her father's notion that the plausibility of a certain piece of information doesn't mean it's true and the notion both of them have that you don't have to stay in a certain place just because you were born there or grew up there. Her mother she says joked during the elections about setting up her own BNP (British Nigerian Party) with the slogan: British Jobs for Nigerian People!!

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi is out now.


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