The line between the supernatural and the imagined becomes increasingly unclear in this surreal, Gothic coming of age story that grapples with mental illness, identity, loss, and institutional racism. Gorgeous poetic prose and an overwhelmingly eerie, haunting atmosphere sucked me in and made this book stick with me long after I finished reading.
Winner of the Somerset Maugham Award One of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists From the acclaimed author of What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours and Gingerbread
There’s something strange about the Silver family house in the closed-off town of Dover, England. Grand and cavernous with hidden passages and buried secrets, it’s been home to four generations of Silver women—Anna, Jennifer, Lily, and now Miranda, who has lived in the house with her twin brother, Eliot, ever since their father converted it to a bed-and-breakfast. The Silver women have always had a strong connection, a pull over one another that reaches across time and space, and when Lily, Miranda’s mother, passes away suddenly while on a trip abroad, Miranda begins suffering strange ailments. An eating disorder starves her. She begins hearing voices. When she brings a friend home, Dover’s hostility toward outsiders physically manifests within the four walls of the Silver house, and the lives of everyone inside are irrevocably changed. At once an unforgettable mystery and a meditation on race, nationality, and family legacies, White is for Witching is a boldly original, terrifying, and elegant novel by a prodigious talent.
About the Author
Helen Oyeyemi is the author of five novels, most recently White Is for Witching, which won a 2010 Somerset Maugham Award, Mr. Fox, which won a 2012 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and Boy, Snow, Bird. In 2013, she was named one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists. She lives in Prague.
“[Oyeyemi] 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
“If you’ve been missing Shirley Jackson all these many years . . . here’s a writer who seems to be a direct heir to that lamented one’s gothic throne.” —The Austin Chronicle
“Superbly atmospheric. . . . The dark tones of Poe in her haunting have also the elasticity of Haruki Murakami’s surreal mental landscapes.” —The Independent (UK)
“[Oyeyemi’s] technical skill as a novelist is remarkable, her range of reference formidable and her use of language virtuosic.” —The Daily Telegraph (UK)
"Appealing from page one.... Unconventional, intoxicating and deeply disquieting." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Laced with thought-provoking story lines." —Booklist