Get to know… Tice Cin
Keeping the House (And Other Stories) by Tice Cin is longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2022

Tice Cin is one of ten emerging writers in the running for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2022,‘the UK’s most prestigious award for first-time novelists’ (Telegraph). The winning author will receive a £10,000 prize along with a year-long package of support with the National Centre for Writing to help them progress their career. Stay tuned for the shortlist announcement on Tuesday 7 June.

Tice Cin is a multidisciplinary artist, with skills in DJing, producing, digital art and writing. Keeping the House is her debut novel and follows three generations of women who keep their family – and their family business – afloat, juggling everything from police surveillance to trickier questions of community, belonging and love. Keeping the House offers a fresh and funny take on the machinery of the North London heroin trade, lifting the lid on a covert world thriving just beneath notice. Get to know the author behind the words below.

Keeping the House is longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2022. Find out more →


Read about the inspiration behind Tice Cin’s writing in PEN Transmissions →

Could you talk a little about relationships between the individual and the community?

I grew up in a very sheltered way you know. I wanted access to the community, which – for various reasons – I couldn’t have when I was young. We moved a lot. But I was always there, wanting to play out. And I write, I suppose, from a place of isolation – of people who want to be part of a community, and who both are a part of it, and yet are at once separated from it.

Discover how growing up in North London influenced the writing of Keeping the House in Tice Cin’s conversation with Lola Olufemi.

Tice Cin discusses her remarkable debut novel, Keeping the House, with Lola Olufemi. From secretive men’s clubs to spotless living rooms, Keeping the House is an electrifying debut that lifts the lid on a covert world. But just as it offers a fresh take on the London drug trade and its machinery, it tells the story of three women in one house: a grandmother, a mother, and the daughter, each dealing with the intricacies and reverberations of community, migration and love.


Listen to an interview with Tice Cin on the Between the Covers Podcast →

With Keeping the House, I wanted to be conscious of that narrator this time, this linguistic tendency that I have towards messing around with them because I often wonder why we’ve all been put here. Why do we all feel lonely? So many people from so many different fortunes, blessings and hardships in their life, it was a very relatable type of loneliness. This feeling of being lonely in a crowded room. I’m grateful that I’m a writer because I can, in my loneliness or isolation, draw in towards myself with words. I hope that readers can feel the same sense of solace in that.


Read Tice Cin discuss ideas of belonging, community and diaspora in an interview with HUCK Magazine →

I think Keeping the House shows disownment. These characters are getting disowned by their communities. And then it takes your surrogate communities to come in and envelop you in love. It’s about the importance of neighbours. When I think about Tottenham, it’s the way the Jamaican community and the Ghanaian community, especially around Broadwater Farm, took care of us. I think it’s important to emulate that in writing, otherwise we risk creating monolithic literature.

 width=Where can I buy Keeping the House?

Check out your local bookshop to buy a copy of Tice’s ‘glorious‘ (Caleb Azumah Nelson) first novel. Or head to to support independent bookshops countrywide. Here’s a hand-pick of our favourites:







Northern Ireland

Looking for more interesting books to add to your ‘to be read’ pile? Check out the full Desmond Elliott Prize longlist on our website! We’d love you to share your thoughts on social media and tag us on Instagram and Twitter. 🥰📚

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