Helen Oyeyemi was born in
Nigeria in 1984 and has lived in London from
the age of four.
Even though she says she doesn't do happiness - 'I don't trust it' - she had much to smile about in 2004 when Bloomsbury UK (J.K. Rowling's publisher) signed her up for a two-book deal at the age of 19 years, on the basis of the manuscript of The Icarus Girl that she wrote while studying for her A-Levels (exams taken before leaving UK high schools). She says, 'I signed the contract on the day I got my exam results'. Although she refuses to reveal the size of the advance she says its enough to put her through university and help out her parents financially (her father teaches children with special needs and her mother works on the London Underground (the subway system).
She is now a student of social and political sciences at Cambridge University and is working on her second novel about ...