Posts Tagged ‘White is for Witching’

Helen Oyeyemi Wins Somerset Maugham Award

June 16th, 2010

Congratulations to Helen Oyeyemi, who took home the Somerset Maugham Award last night for her “profoundly chilling” supernatural novel White is for Witching! The award is given annually to British authors under the age of 35. Follow the jump to read what the critics are saying.

“[Oyeyemi] knows that ghost stories aren’t just for kids. And White Is for Witching turns out to be a delightfully unconventional coming-of-age story. . . . As in Toni Morrison’s Beloved or Chris Abani’s Song for Night, the supernatural elements of White Is for Witching serve to remind the characters – and Oyeyemi’s readers – of horrifying historical circumstances . . . Oyeyemi clearly appreciates that some crimes (like slavery or genocide or, in this case, institutional racism) are so heinous that the conventions of realist fiction seem woefully inadequate to describe them. She makes us glad to suspend disbelief.”
The New York Times Book Review

“Profoundly chilling . . . a slow-building neo-Gothic that will leave persevering readers breathless.”
The Boston Globe

“Appealing from page one. . . . Unconventional, intoxicating and deeply disquieting.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Chilling . . . lyrical . . . . If you’ve been missing Shirley Jackson all these many years, missing the creepy character-driven goodness of We Have Always Lived in the Castle and Hangsaman, here’s a writer who seems to be a direct heir to that lamented one’s gothic throne.”
The Austin Chronicle