Pagan And Her Parents

Pagan And Her Parents

Candida Mulliner and Leo Young have been the closest of friends since university, living together but loving separately. When Candida dies after a long illness, she leaves her five year old daughter, Pagan, in Leo's care. Candida's adoptive parents are horrified; they refuse to accept that a single man is a suitable person to bring up a child and challenge Leo's guardianship in the courts. The ensuing hearings are complicated by tabloid exposure of Leo's homosexuality, which threatens not only his position with Pagan but also his job as a television chat-show host. As Leo fights for his and Pagan's rights in a society that continues to regard gay men as a threat to children, he finds himself isolated, vilified and, ultimately, arrested. Meanwhile, he endeavours to discover the truth about Candida, the cause of her estrangement from her adoptive parents, the identity of her natural mother and the reason for her refusal to name Pagan's father.

'It should be required reading wherever the nuclear family is smallmindedly lauded as the one true ideal. Unputdownable.' The Times

'A subtle and complex reflection on the wider nature of love and attachment.' Sunday Telegraph

'A moving novel about the survival of a modern family in the grip of death and the dead hand of convention.' New Yorker

'Arditti writes exactly like Dickens. He demands participation from the reader in an era of detachment.' Scotland on Sunday

'The questions Arditti tackles are burning and central. I honestly couldn't put the book down.' Literary Review

Price £: 
7.99
Paperback
Published: 
03 Feb 2011
ISBN: 
9781906413743
Available from:

Pagan And Her Parents

Candida Mulliner and Leo Young have been the closest of friends since university, living together but loving separately. When Candida dies after a long illness, she leaves her five year old daughter, Pagan, in Leo's care. Candida's adoptive parents are horrified; they refuse to accept that a single man is a suitable person to bring up a child and challenge Leo's guardianship in the courts. The ensuing hearings are complicated by tabloid exposure of Leo's homosexuality, which threatens not only his position with Pagan but also his job as a television chat-show host. As Leo fights for his and Pagan's rights in a society that continues to regard gay men as a threat to children, he finds himself isolated, vilified and, ultimately, arrested. Meanwhile, he endeavours to discover the truth about Candida, the cause of her estrangement from her adoptive parents, the identity of her natural mother and the reason for her refusal to name Pagan's father.

'It should be required reading wherever the nuclear family is smallmindedly lauded as the one true ideal. Unputdownable.' The Times

'A subtle and complex reflection on the wider nature of love and attachment.' Sunday Telegraph

'A moving novel about the survival of a modern family in the grip of death and the dead hand of convention.' New Yorker

'Arditti writes exactly like Dickens. He demands participation from the reader in an era of detachment.' Scotland on Sunday

'The questions Arditti tackles are burning and central. I honestly couldn't put the book down.' Literary Review

Price £: 
5.99
eBook
Published: 
19 Apr 2011
ISBN: 
9781908129369
Available from:

About the author

  • Michael Arditti

    Michael Arditti

    Michael Arditti is a novelist, short story writer and critic. His novels are The Celibate (1993), Pagan and her Parents  (Pagan’s Father in the USA) (1996), Easter (2000), Unity (2005), A Sea Change (2006), The Enemy of the Good (2009), Jubilate (2011) and The Breath of Night (2013). His short story collection, Good Clean Fun was published in 2004. He was awarded a Harold Hyam Wingate scholarship in 2000, a Royal Literary Fund fellowship in 2001, an Oppenheim-John Downes memorial award in 2003 and Arts Council awards in 2004 and 2007. He was the Leverhulme artist in residence at the Freud museum in 2008. His novels have been short- and long-listed for several literary awards and Easter won the inaugural Waterstone’s Mardi Gras award. In 2012 he was awarded an Honorary DLitt by the University of Chester. He is currently theatre critic of the Sunday Express.

    Titles by Michael Arditti

    Of Men and Angels by Michael Arditti
    Widows and Orphans by Michael Arditti Jacket