In White Is for Witching, Helen Oyeyemi plays with standard features of the British Gothic novel—old Victorian mansion with hidden rooms and threatening spectral figures, innocent young heroine, vampire figure—to complicate the genre’s simple binary oppositions between good and evil. For example, the innocent young girl who is compelled to explore the mysteries of the Gothic mansion seems at first to be the designated prey of the hungry ghosts who inhabit the house but then begins to develop “unnatural appetites” for human flesh herself. Oyeyemi also strains the contours of the traditional Gothic plot by mixing in figures and stories drawn from her ancestral African and Caribbean cultural traditions. This diasporic mixing and melding of genres and cultures is more than just play: Oyeyemi’s playfulness is purposeful. A witty parody of the maternal ethic of single-minded dedication to one’s children widely accepted in the U.S. and U.K. develops into a biting indictment of a middle-class maternal ideology in which the protection and devotion to one’s children rests on the exclusion from care of other people’s children. And that maternal ethic of exclusivity is exposed as continuous with a white nationalist politics based on the exclusion of immigrants and racial others.