Helen Oyeyemi, The Opposite House

Chloe Buckley (Manchester Metropolitan University)
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Published in 2007,

The Opposite House

is Helen Oyeyemi’s second novel about the experience of migration. Oyeyemi’s first novel,

The Icarus Girl,

focused on a child, Jess, the daughter of a white British father and a black Nigerian mother, living in London. In

The Opposite House,

the protagonist is an adult. Maja, a black Cuban, also resides in London, having migrated to Britain as a child. Maja experiences feelings of dislocation and fragmentation as a result of her double displacement. In an interview, Oyeyemi describes Maja as “twice removed, removed from West Africa, removed from Cuba, and now she’s trying to kind of negotiate this placelessness” (Martin). Although Oyeyemi’s novels are not autobiographical, Oyeyemi acknowledges that her protagonists experience many of the…

1759 words

Citation: Buckley, Chloe. "The Opposite House". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 February 2015 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=35616, accessed 19 April 2024.]

35616 The Opposite House 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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