Lyrical and intensely moving, The Opposite House explores the thin wall between myth and reality through the alternating tales of two young women. Growing up in London, Maja, a singer, always struggled to negotiate her Afro-Cuban background with her physical home. Yemaya is a Santeria emissary who lives in a mysterious somewherehouse with two doors: one opening to London, the other to Lagos. She is troubled by the ease with which her fellow emissaries have disguised themselves behind the personas of saints and by her inability to recognize them. Interweaving these two tales. Helen Oyeyemi, acclaimed author of The Icarus Girl, spins a dazzling tale about faith, identity, and self-discovery.
Helen Oyeyemi was born in Nigeria in 1984 and has lived in London since the age of four. She completed her first novel The Icarus Girl before her nineteenth birthday. She graduated from Cambridge University in June 2006 and lives in London. The Opposite House is her second novel.
“Complex, challenging, utterly thrilling.” —The Miami Herald
“A startling literary prodigy. . . . [Oyeyemi] has the ability to shift between realism and expressionism without surrendering to self-indulgence. . . . Recalls the visionary worlds of Emily Dickinson, Neruda and even Rimbaud.” —The Washington Post Book World
“Beautiful, meandering. . . . [A novel] about the difficulties of knowing who you are, especially if you are born of several incompatible cultures.” —The Times
(London)“Again displays [Oyeyemi's] amazing sure-handedness that is far beyond her years.” —Seattle Post-Intelligencer