The Red Children

Maggie Gee


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Saqi Books
30 June 2022
ISBN: 9781846592133
304 pages

From the publisher

It’s the 2030s in Ramsgate and four people who don’t look quite human are found sitting, naked, in the early spring sunlight on the quay of the quiet south coast resort. The locals are puzzled – the newcomers are larger and heavier than they are and say they are fleeing the heat. Soon more arrive. Their tall red-haired leader, The Professor, talks to the universe. The locals talk among themselves.

Red people appear everywhere, making friends, going into the caves, liked by some but accused of bringing infection by others. Two rivalrous brothers, Liam and Joe, take different sides as one joins a notorious far-right group. Their teacher Monica is the first to warn there’ll be trouble. And she’s right, there is; but there is also a great Midsummer Festival, laughter and love.

Set in a world in crisis, this original, gripping fable about migration and global warming restores belief in the power of human kindness.

‘A stylish, intriguing novel. A fable bursting with freshness and foresight, a charming, sparkling jewel of a novel to be cherished and held high as an antidote to modern day bleakness and climate despair.’
Leila Aboulela

The Red Children offers a warning and a vision of our past, present and future. This timely, vital and generous book is extraordinary in its courage, and hopeful and brutally honest in its clarity. An essential book for our times.’
Salena Godden

‘Superb. A mesmerising, deeply engrossing work.’
Irenosen Okojie