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PGC Fall 2021 Adult Book Fair

Keeping the House
By (author): Tice Cin
Tice Cin


And Other Stories



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


General Trade
Sep 17, 2021
$26.95 CAD


7.8in x 5.1 x 0.81 in | 260 gr

Page Count:

256 pages
And Other Stories
FICTION / Literary

Shortlisted for the 2022 Jhalak Prize

Shortlisted for the 2022 Desmond Elliott Prize

Shortlisted for the 2022 British Book Awards, Book of the Year – Discover Award

Longlisted for the 2022 Gordon Burn Prize

Longlisted for the 2022 Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize

Winner of a 2022 Somerset Maugham Award

Cabbages . . . The Turkish variety are prized for their enlarged leaf bud, that’s where we put the heroin . . .

There’s a stash of heroin waiting to be imported, and no one seems sure what to do with it . . . But Ayla’s a gardener, and she has a plan.

Offering a fresh and funny take on the machinery of the North London heroin trade, Keeping the House lifts the lid on a covert world thriving just beneath notice: not only in McDonald's queues and men’s clubs, but in spotless living rooms and whispering kitchens. Spanning three generations, this is the story of the women who keep their family – and their family business – afloat, juggling everything from police surveillance to trickier questions of community, belonging and love.

Tice Cin is a poet, writer, and interdisciplinary artist from north London. A London Writers Award-winner, her work has been published by Extra Teeth and Skin Deep and commissioned by Battersea Arts Centre and St Paul's Cathedral. An alumnus of Barbican Young Poets, she now creates digital art as part of Design Yourself – a collective based at the Barbican Centre – exploring what it means to be human, and is making an album to accompany her debut novel.

Keeping the House is a truly beautiful debut. A mistress of deftly sketched characters that become whole humans in a few lines, Cin tells stories of working-class, inner-city life steeped in truth, emotion and vulnerability. She is one of a new generation of writers who see the splendour of these streets and articulate it with great majesty.” —Courttia Newland, Guardian Best Books of 2021

A beautifully stunning book revealing a realm of London most wouldn’t know. Through my read I wavered between palpable nostalgia and questions about the future of the community that conceived this story. Beyond its fresh approach to craftsmanship, it’s the enormous heart of the story that stays with you long after you’ve finished reading it. I’ll be rereading this book for years to come. There is no other way to put it; Cin is an important writer of our generation.” —Caleb Femi

Keeping the House is such a bold and yet poignant read: musical, nimble, affectionate and (thank GOD) rule-breaking.” —Lisa McInerney

“Written with immediacy and poignancy, this is a powerful debut from an exciting and compelling new voice, I loved it.” —Salena Godden

“Tice Cin has arrived. With a style all her own and a confidence that radiates off each page, poetry that renders settings and characters incredibly vivid. No impression will escape you.” —Derek Owusu

“Lyrical, memorable, pulsing with life, energy and sensation. I so admired its polyphonic ambitions and evocation of place—not to mention love. Her writing sticks in the mind like a thumbprint on glass.” —Olivia Sudjic

“Thrums with feeling, illustrating the London community with a sharp and confident eye. Her characters are full and sure, and traverse their world with humor, boldness and love. Hope fills these pages.” —Caleb Azumah Nelson

“A brilliantly enthralling read. Tice Cin's potent crime caper marks the arrival of an intoxicating new voice.” —Irenosen Okojie

“A beautiful novel—forgiving, meandering and sexy. Tice Cin makes prose ooze and breathe and cook. Her multilingual Tottenham Turkish-Cypriot characters are real people to me now. I love Damla, Cemile and Ayla very much.” —Yara Rodrigues Fowler

“Tice Cin is an enthralling voice.” —Roger Robinson

“Tice Cin’s voice is so compelling and utterly original, and her book is a thing of beauty and craft, both soft and sharp. It envelops you then gives you a gut punch. An essentially London novel.” —Cecilia Knapp

“There’s always been a poetic, dream-like wonder to Tice’s writing. No detail goes unnoticed, unexamined. You see all the tiniest details through her eyes and her words—it’s a beautiful gift.” —Michelle Tiwo

“An intoxicating rush of language—and languages—funny, grimy (in all senses), and driven by a fierce energy, Keeping The House holds a deep sadness at its core, but never allows it to overwhelm us, instead finding beauty in balance.” —Will Ashon

Keeping the House is a thrilling debut by a bold new talent: sparkling, polyphonic, and bristling with linguistic energy. Tice Cin has somehow fused experimental writing, crime fiction and the family saga together, while coolly inaugurating the London Turkish novel.” —Matthew Sperling

“A deft and dynamic debut flushed with unforgettable characters alongside an intimate sense of community. Tice Cin charts the complexities of inner-city and diasporic life, morality and relationships through a gripping network of twists and turns in a wholly unique way. I thought I knew what North London was about, I realised after reading this I didn't.” —Anthony Anaxagorou

Bookseller quotes:

“A bold and assured debut that rethinks what a crime novel can be.” —Ollie Simpson, Pages of Hackney

“Tice Cin fuses wild lyricism with dreamy romance in a form as voracious and alive as her characters.” —So Mayer, Burley Fisher Books

“A swirling collage of a novel that explores the dark side of a London community with great energy and warmth.” —Kate Ellis, Brick Lane Bookshop

“The Great Tottenham Novel exists and it’s called Keeping the House. I loved it.” —Gary Perry, Foyles

“Cin’s natural poetry and the unique rhythm of her storytelling weave a spellbinding narrative through several generations of a Turkish Cypriot family. A captivating read from a powerful new voice!” —Antony Hurley, Burley Fisher Books

“Tice Cin has a rare talent: Keeping the House weaves multiple languages and complex form, and still remains a fast paced, addictive read.” —Aimée Madill, Phlox Books

“A brilliant London novel, of the kind we need more of: polyphonic, multilingual, thrillingly alive with all the people, food, music that make this city what it is.” —Gayle Lazda, London Review Bookshop

“I loved Keeping the House for its energy and its heart, for being both funny and fierce—a deft, brilliant novel of girlhood, community, and cabbages.” —Elizabeth Perry, Daunt Summertown

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