My Cleaner

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My Cleaner
First edition
Author Maggie Gee
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Publisher Saqi Books
Publication date
Media type Print
Pages 318
ISBN 0-86356-544-1
Followed by My Driver

My Cleaner is a novel by English author Maggie Gee. It was first published in 2005 by Saqi Books and concerns racism and family life.[1] According to Bernardine Evaristo it was her best novel to that date.[2]

Maggie Gee visited Uganda in 2003, sponsored by the Cheltenham Literature Festival's 'Across Continents' commission and a Society of Authors grant,[3] and the novel features many scenes set in that country. The story is continued in My Driver (2009).[4]

Plot introduction[edit]

The story is told from the viewpoint of Vanessa Henman, an English writer, and Mary Tendo Ugandan graduate of Makerere University. Vanessa's 22-year-old son Justin refuses to get out of bed with depression. Justin asks for Mary who looked after him as a child so Vanessa writes to her. Mary returns to London to help Justin, but this time not as a cleaner...


  1. ^ Lisa O'Kelly, "Cross your cleaner at your peril. Maggie Gee returns to racism and family life in My Cleaner", The Observer, 21 August 2005.
  2. ^ Back cover, 1st edition
  3. ^ 1st edition frontispiece
  4. ^ Patrick ness, "Out of struggle", The Guardian, 28 March 2009.

External links[edit]