Judith Amanthis

Judith Amanthis was born in Oxford, spent her adolescence in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) and has been a Londoner ever since. Her short fiction has appeared in a number of UK magazines, and her non-fiction and journalism have been published in Ghana, South Africa and the UK.  From 1998 to 2008 she worked on the London-based Pan African magazine Kilombo. She has also worked as a teacher, grounds person, lorry driver, lexicographer, and receptionist. Of the great political movements of the last 50 years, the struggle for African emancipation and the women’s movement have shaped her life and writing the most. She has 2 sons and 2 granddaughters.

Literary Works

There’s no dirtier business than the cleaning industry

Jennifer and Coral have a lot in common. They’re both cleaners in a London accountant’s office, they share the same English mum, and they have a long-standing quarrel: is Coral to blame for the departure of Jennifer’s Nigerian dad when they were little. It’s now 2010 and when Jennifer is persuaded to help trade unionist and
Ghanaian exile Kosi dish the dirt on UK-Ghana corruption, Coral starts an obsessive affair with him. Jennifer reacts badly. Rather more radical difficulties threaten the other cleaners, immigration removal for one. The cleaning company pays everyone wages no-one can live on.
Will Jennifer, Coral and Kosi clean up their acts?

‘It has been a pleasure reading this engaging portrait of London’s precariat. Dirt Clean is not only a hugely insightful novel that speaks to the many questions of our contemporary social faultlines but also a uniquely inventive and witty account of two sisters’ extended quarrel. I enjoyed it very much.’

Brian Chikwava, author of Harare North