The White Family

The White Family

9781846590436 January 2008 Paperback 416pp

About the Book


Alfred White, a London park keeper, rules his home with a mixture of ferocity and tenderness that has estranged his three children. But family ties are strong, and when Alfred collapses on duty one day, they rush to be with him.

His daughter’s partner, Elroy, a black social-worker, is brought face to face with Alfred’s younger son Dirk, who hates and fears all black people, and the scene is set for violence, forcing Alfred’s wife May to choose between justice and kinship.

This groundbreaking novel takes on the taboo subject of racial hatred, as it looks at love, hatred, sex, comedy and death in an ordinary British family.

About the Author

Maggie Gee is the author of twelve acclaimed novels, including The White Family (shortlisted for the Orange and IMPAC prizes), My Cleaner and a memoir, My Animal Life. She is a Fellow and Vice-President of the Royal Society of Literature, and Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. Her work has been translated into fourteen languages. Maggie Gee was awarded an OBE in 2012 for her services to literature.


'A triumph of hope over despair, reconciliation over bitterness ... an unashamedly contemporary novel that embraces the ideological and emotional chaos of our time.'

‘Outstanding ... tender, sexy and alarming.’
Jim Crace

‘A brilliant depiction of British society.’
Bernardine Evaristo

'The White Family points to new directions in British writing. Full of power and passion, as well as some timely warnings ... it deserves the widest possible readership.'
Literary Review

‘Intensely touching’
Financial Times