'White is for Witching'

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A girl came on to the bus who has a Post-doctoral position at UCL. Her research is involved with stem cells. She recalled how as a little girl she would dream of eating chalk constantly.

She told me that there is a book called 'White is for Witching' by Helen Oyeyemi which is about a woman with pica. I did a little research and it turns out that this woman has an obsession with chalk too. Did she identify with this character? How did she come to read a book that was so close to her childhood dream?

'White is for Witching' (2009) is published by Picador and is described as a 'mesmerising gothic tale' by them:

A mesmerizing modern Gothic tale from the phenomenally talented author of The Icarus Girl.

In a vast, mysterious house on the cliffs near Dover, the Silver family is reeling from the hole punched into its heart. Lily is gone and her twins, Miranda and Eliot, and her husband Luc, mourn her absence with unspoken intensity. All is not well with the house, either, which creaks and grumbles and malignly confuses visitors in its mazy rooms, forcing winter apples in the garden when the branches should be bare. Generations of women inhabit its walls. And Miranda, with her new appetite for chalk and her keen sense for spirits, is more attuned to them than she is to her brother and her father. When one dark night she vanishes entirely, the survivors are left to tell her story.

Narrated by a quartet of voices, White is for Witching is electrifying in its expression of myth and memory, loss and magic, fear and love.

Taken from White is for Witching [online] Accessed 15/10/09