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June 9, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
  • Fiction

The Red Children

Maggie Gee


Brentwood Library, New Road
Brentwood, CM14 4BP
£7 concessions (Students, Under 27s and Jobseekers)

Hear from Orange Prize-shortlisted and one of the most acclaimed authors in the British canon, Maggie Gee, as she discusses her topical and deeply moving novel, The Red Children. Set in 2030s Ramsgate, in a world in crisis, this original, gripping story about migration and global warming restores belief in the power of community and human kindness.


‘I’m full of admiration.’ – Hilary Mantel

‘One of our most ambitious and challenging novelists.’ – Sunday Times

‘Like Margaret Atwood, Maggie Gee has always been prepared to tackle contemporary ideas on a grand as well as a domestic scale… Her prose is rich and gossipy; and is, at times, shockingly cynical.’ –  The Observer


Venue: Brentwood Library, New Road, Brentwood, CM14 4BP

Date and time: Thursday 9th June, 7.00pm

Tickets: £8 / £7 concessions (Students, Under 27s and Jobseekers)

Box Office: Book online or via Mercury Theatre 01206 573948 (10am – 8pm Tuesday to Saturday)


The Red Children

The Red Children book cover

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 a quiet south coast resort. The locals are puzzled – the newcomers are larger and heavier than them 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 hard-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 story about migration and global warming restores belief in the power of community and human kindness.


Buy a copy of The Red Children from bookshop.org


About the Author

Photo of Maggie Gee

Maggie Gee is the author of sixteen acclaimed novels, which have been translated into more than fourteen languages, including The White Family (shortlisted for the Orange and IMPAC prizes) and My Cleaner, and a memoir, My Animal Life.

She is a Fellow and Vice-President of the Royal Society of Literature, and a Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. Gee was awarded an OBE in 2012 for her services to literature and was one of 20 on the first Granta Best of Young British Novelists list in 1983, alongside Julian Barnes, Rose Tremain, Salman Rushdie and Ian McEwan.





Brentwood Library
New Road
Brentwood, CM14 4BP
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033301 32643

Visit accessable.co.uk for all disability and access information about Brentwood Library.

Hearing Loop: Essex Book Festival has a mobile Roger Pen hearing loop system, which needs to be booked by individuals in advance at least five days before the event. If you would like to use the Roger Pen email claire@essexbookfestival.org.uk