By Alix Hawley Special to the Star Fri., March 1, 2019 Picture Oscar Wilde a-twirl in a Kate Bush video, and you might get something close to the spirit of Helen Oyeyemi. Her books are mash-ups of reality and fairy tale, electric with sharp, lightly delivered insight. In her latest novel, Gingerbread, she continues to combine ingredients in the most startling ways. And she’s certainly hit her stride in the post-truth era. Mother and daughter Margot and Harriet Lee are refugees from Druhástrana, a country that has decided to exit (Drexit?) the rest of the world. They end up in the U.K. among rich family members determined to wring gratitude from them, and eventually flee to London, where Harriet’s own teenage daughter Perdita slips into a coma that takes her to the motherland. When she wakes, they make a deal: “Perdita will tell Harriet how she got to Druhástrana, and Harriet will tell Perdita how she left it.” The deal doesn’t entirely work out, like many in this book. Druhástrana is a sclerotic bureaucratic place, run by “theoretical persons.” Workers trundle along in full hope of winning the lottery, able to live “under the most dire privations as long as… Read full this story
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