Helen Oyeyemi, The Icarus Girl

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The cover art of the original 2005 Bloomsbury edition of Helen Oyeyemi’s The Icarus Girl features a young, barefooted girl who is about to walk out of the frame; she carries white wings under her arms and her larger-than-life shadow splays across the cover. The wings allude to the title of the novel, which in turn references the Greek myth of Icarus. Icarus and his father, the master craftsman Daedalus, had been imprisoned by King Minos within the walls of Daedalus’s own invention, the labyrinth on Crete. In order to escape their certain death, Daedalus created wings made of wood, feathers and wax. As they fly away, however, Icarus disregards his father’s warnings to avoid both the waters of the ocean and the hot sunlight, and swoops too high. When the sun melts the wax of his…

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Citation: Leetsch, Jennifer. "The Icarus Girl". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 May 2019 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=16701, accessed 09 December 2023.]

16701 The Icarus Girl 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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