The White Family

The White Family

20th Anniversary Edition

Introduction by Bernardine Evaristo

9781846592157 March 2022 Paperback 448pp

About the Book

Alfred White, a London park keeper, rules his home with a mixture of rigidity and tenderness that has estranged his three children. For years, Alfred’s daughter Shirley and her black partner Elroy have avoided her comically ignorant younger brother Dirk, who admires his father and hates people of colour. But family ties are strong: when Alfred collapses on duty one day, all the children rush to be with him. The scene is set for bloodshed, forcing Alfred to make a climactic choice between justice and kinship.

Exploring the roots of racism in British society, The White Family traces what happens when a family reaches breaking point after years of love and hate, violence and polite silence.

This twentieth-anniversary edition includes an introduction by Bernardine Evaristo and a note from the author revealing the story behind this contemporary classic.

About the Author

Maggie Gee is the author of seventeen critically acclaimed books, which have been translated into more than fifteen languages. These include the novels The Red Children, My Cleaner and The White Family (shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction and International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award), and a memoir, My Animal Life. Gee is a Fellow and Vice-President of the Royal Society of Literature and Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. She was awarded an OBE in 2012 for her services to literature.


‘Courageous, honest, powerfully real.’
The Times

‘Full of power and passion … it deserves the widest possible readership.’
Literary Review

‘A transcendent work.’
Daily Telegraph

‘A triumph of hope over despair, reconciliation over bitterness.’
The Independent

‘A ground-breaking condition-of-England novel that delves for the roots of xenophobic hatred and violence … finely judged and compulsively readable.’
The Guardian


Orange Prize For Fiction (Shortlist)

International Impac Dublin Literary Award (Shortlist)