Reading guide for The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Icarus Girl

by Helen Oyeyemi

The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi X
The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jun 2005, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2006, 352 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

Deftly blending the motifs of African folklore with an original new voice, Nigerian born Helen Oyeyemi tells a haunting story of twins and ghosts, of a little girl growing up between cultures and colors, to capture the mysterious power of myth to transform reality.

Powerfully imaginative and compelling, The Icarus Girl is perfect for you next reading group choice. Here are some questions to enhance your discussions:

Discussion Questions

  1. Jessamy Harrison has a Nigerian mother and an English father. How important is Jess's mixed race? How important are these two very different cultures to her?

  2. What is the significance of the "long-armed woman" who appears in Jess's dreams? What does she mean when she says "We are the same"?

  3. Jess readily accepts TillyTilly's ability to alter Jess's reality. Is TillyTilly – a ghost, a demon, Jess's alter ego as Dr. McKenzie suggests, or something else?

  4. How successful is Helen Oyeyemi at capturing the voice, thoughts and fears of a troubled eight-year-old?

  5. Jess's grandfather tells her "Two hungry people should never make friends." What does he mean? How important is Jess's grandfather to her?

  6. The ibeji statue's "aid" of Jess in the Bush does not constitute a victory for Jess and Fern. What do you think happens at the end of the novel?
Free Book Club Report

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Anchor Books. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Overstory
    The Overstory
    by Richard Powers
    Many glowing adjectives can be used to describe a novel by Richard Powers: brilliant, moving, ...
  • Book Jacket: American Histories
    American Histories
    by John E. Wideman
    In American Histories, a collection of 21 short stories, John Edgar Wideman draws America's present ...
  • Book Jacket: I Found My Tribe
    I Found My Tribe
    by Ruth Fitzmaurice
    Ruth O'Neill was only 28 when she married film director Simon Fitzmaurice in 2004. Changing her...
  • Book Jacket: The Art of the Wasted Day
    The Art of the Wasted Day
    by Patricia Hampl
    Patricia Hampl wants you to know that daydreaming is not a waste of a day. Nor is spending time ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner

A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Girl Who Smiled Beads
    by Clemantine Wamariya

    A riveting story of dislocation, survival, and the power of stories to break or save us.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Leavers

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

One of the most anticipated books of 2017--now in paperback!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T E H N Clothes

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.