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Reading: Girls on Bikes / Keeping the House

We’re really thrilled to be able to share this special reading from Tice Cin to follow her brilliant recent GIRLS ON BIKES playlist. Bathed in gorgeous dappled sunlight before Cemile AKA bougainvillea, Tice reads from her Jhalak Prize shortlisted debut novel KEEPING THE HOUSE.

She says: “Cemile falls around accompanying leaves. The extract in this alternative video reading follows two girls biking through Lordship rec, time slowing and speeding with the awe and surprise that wind-whistling offers.”

We LOVE this reading, and we’re just made up to be Tice’s bookshop champions ahead of the final Jhalak Prize announcement on 26 May. Have a listen to Tice’s GIRLS ON BIKES playlist, read more about the book, and keep an eye out for another special something next week.

“Nene says it is expensive buying a bike, what for when the English government give you buses; sometimes you can even go with trains. If you want to go to the park, you can run to the park. If you don’t want to run, then you can walk through the alley that takes you down to Lordship Rec, if you walk even more you can go all the way through the grass to the bit where the Moselle needs to be pumped through so that it gets the right kind of water in, instead of the wrong kind of water. Brown. Murky. Some shoes floating. All different types of shoes, brown leather ones and Velcro black and whites. Floating on the water, chucked there by someone who isn’t grateful for what they have. I still want to take the bike, though, so when Cemile offers to ride with me perched on the back, I’m gone as soon as Anne lets me.

Us kids in twos going


of wind.

biking like whistles

My fingers pinching in her belly.

Go a bit slower when there’s people in the way!
Cemile? Cemile! Dirty pavement cracking at the wheels.
Bits more wind and bits more wobble.

Pavement starts to blend into grass. She’s leading us with a map in her head, past a small hedge that looks forest-ready through Lordship Rec.
dodging benches in bushes like old cars,

towards Farm.

Moselle water sounds in my head.
If you listen close, the water sounds friendly as steel pans around here.”