Tice Cin

Keeping the House

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.

Read an Excerpt
Paperback: £11.99
EBook: £6.99

More Info

  • To find out more about the extraordinary process behind the discovery and publication of a debut novel, listen to the Waterstones podcast on Keeping the House, featuring contributions from Tice Cin, her agent Donald Winchester, editor and champion Max Porter, and the And Other Stories team.
  • Read an interview with Tice Cin and Max Porter for the Foyles blog.
  • Tice Cin will be on English PEN’s Writers on Solidarity panel at the Southbank Centre on 26th September. More information on the event and and how to get tickets can be found here.
  • Tice Cin will be appearing at Burley Fisher’s 5th Birthday celebrations on 16th October 2021. More information can be found on our Events page.
  • If you subscribed to And Other Stories by Sunday 4th April 2021, you would have received your limited edition copy of Keeping the House – in which all subscribers are thanked by name – in June 2021, before its official publication, as well as up to five other specially selected And Other Stories titles per year. Find out more about our subscriptions.
  • You can find the audiobook of Keeping the House, narrated by Tice Cin and Serena Manteghi, on your preferred audiobook platform.


Print status: Available
Author: Tice Cin
Original language: English
Format: B-format paperback
Publication date: 7 September 2021
ISBN: 9781913505080
Ebook ISBN: 9781913505097
Availability: World English
Number of pages: 256


Lisa McInerney

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

Salena Godden

‘Written with immediacy and poignancy, this is a powerful debut from an exciting and compelling new voice, I loved it.’

Derek Owusu

‘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.’  

Caleb Azumah Nelson, author of Open Water

‘Keeping The House drew me in from the first few lines. A glorious novel which thrums with feeling, illustrating the London community with a sharp and confident eye. Her characters are full and sure, and traverse their world with humour, boldness and love. Hope fills these pages.’

Irenosen Okojie, author of Nudibranch

‘A brilliantly enthralling read. Tice Cin's potent crime caper marks the arrival of an intoxicating new voice.’

Yara Rodrigues Fowler

‘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.’

Roger Robinson

‘Tice Cin is an enthralling voice.’

Michelle Tiwo

'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.'

Will Ashon

‘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.’

Matthew Sperling

‘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.’

Anthony Anaxagorou

‘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.’

Praise from Booksellers

‘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