'A writer of sentences so elegant that they gleam' Ali Smith
Perdita and her mother Harriet may appear your average schoolgirl and working mother but they are anything but. For one thing, their home is a gold-painted, seventh-floor flat with some surprisingly verbal vegetation. And then there's the gingerbread. Popular in Druhástrana, the far-away land of Harriet's youth, the Lee family gingerbread was particularly beloved by Harriet's charismatic childhood friend, Gretel Kercheval. When Perdita sets out to find Gretel, Harriet's story is set to be retold. As we follow the Lees through encounters with jealousy, ambition, family grudges, work and wealth, gingerbread seems to the one thing that holds a constant value . . .
Influenced by the mysterious place gingerbread holds in classic children's stories - equal parts wholesome and uncanny - beloved novelist Helen Oyeyemi invites readers into a delightful tale of a surprising family legacy, in which the inheritance is a recipe. Endlessly surprising and satisfying, written with Helen Oyeyemi's inimitable style and imagination, Gingerbread is a true feast for the reader.
'Endlessly inventive' Oprah Magazine
'Rich, clever . . . lively and playful . . . both thoughtful and lavish . . . a bold book with a great deal of depth and mischief' Financial Times
Oyeyemi's novels are shadowy, elegant and head into entirely unexpected territory . . . Original and uncanny * Mail on Sunday * Like Harriet's ever-changeable recipe, Oyeyemi's novel is both "the kind your teeth snap into shards, and the kind your teeth sink into" -- Catherine Taylor * New Statesman * One of the best writers alive today . . . Gingerbread twists and modernises fairy tales . . . magical and also very contemporary -- <i>Stylist</i> Book Club pick of the week Strange, marvellously meandering . . . elegant and original * Sunday Express * Oyeyemi's great skill is to interleave and interweave the fantastical and the political. In this respect, she is akin to writers such as Tea Obrecht, Jenni Fagan and Naomi Alderman, who manage to make the eerie and the urgent close. Gingerbread is at one and the same time - like the double eyes - a reworking of fable and an incisive look at class, migration, exclusion and loss -- Stuart Kelly * Scotland on Sunday * Idiosyncratically brilliant, she spins a tale about three generations of women and the gingerbread that is their curse and their legacy . . . This fantastic and fantastical romp is a wonderful addition to her formidable canon. * Publishers Weekly * The sly elegance and surrealism of Oyeyemi's writing weave a spell around a story that once again concerns adolescent wounds, misplaced love and family lies -- Amanda Craig * Literary Review * Whimsical and mischievous, a modern-mythic romp that's very clever (maybe at times too clever), often frustrating, always fun . . . Oyeyemi is a delightful writer -- Francesca Carington * Daily Telegraph * Her sentences are like grabbing onto the tail of a vibrant, living creature without knowing what you'll find at the other end. It's absolutely exhilarating . . . Fans of Oyeyemi's will expect an electric, genre-defying style, and won't be disappointed. New readers should prepare to be dizzied . . . Gingerbread is jarring, funny, surprising, unsettling, disorienting and rewarding. It requires the reader to be quick-footed and alert. And by the end, it is clear what has grounded the story from the start - the tender and troubling humanity of its characters . . . This is a wildly imagined, head-spinning, deeply intelligent novel -- Eowyn Ivey * New York Times * One of our most singular and inventive contemporary voices. The great joy of Oyeyemi's work is its sense of complete freedom . . . when the quality of the writing - and the scope of the imagination - is this good, it's hard not to be swept away . . . There is much to revel in here: Oyeyemi's inventions are as surprising and as deft as her modern-mythic prose style . . . Oyeyemi's sentences continually sparkle with viciously precise humour . . . Gingerbread is delicious -- Stuart Evers * Spectator * Written with such verve and energy that it's hard to resist * Emerald Street * Open this book, I entreat you, and get lost in a new country . . . Oyeyemi's whirling sparkler of a story is loving, strange and entirely exhilarating -- Marina Endicott Rich, clever . . . lively and playful . . . both thoughtful and lavish . . . a bold book with a great deal of depth and mischief * Financial Times * Endlessly inventive * The Oprah Magazine *