Anne Fine

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Carnegie Medal

Children's Laureate 2001-2003

Carnegie Medal 1989, 1992

Whitbread Award 1993, 1996

Guardian Fiction Award 1990


The many faces of Madame Doubtfire

A vast apparition towered over her on the doorstep. "I'm Madame Doubtfire, dear."

Lydia, Christopher and Natalie are used to domestic turmoil. Their parents' divorce has not made family life any easier in either home.

The children bounce to and from their volatile mother, Miranda, and their out-of-work actor father, Daniel.

Then Miranda advertises for a cleaning lady who will look mind the children after work - and Daniel gets the job, disguised as Madame Doubtfire.

Shortlisted for Observer Teenage Fiction Prize 1987

Shortlisted for Whitbread Children's Novel Award 1987

Runner-up for Guardian Children's Fiction Award 1987

Madame Doubtfire: a modern classic

 Every author secretly hopes each book they write will turn into 'a classic' - a book loved by many over a long period of time" says Anne.

"So it was a huge boost to find my novel Madame Doubtfire out on the shelves in a brand new format and with a gorgeously appealing new cover by Mark Beech (on the right in the montage above).

So many people of all ages love this book. I think that's because it deals so honestly with a very real family in a very difficult situation. It doesn't try to hide the problems of separation and divorce. It faces up to the ugly emotions that can so easily surface when the happy and settled life everyone in the family had hoped for hits the rocks.

But the comedy keeps the topic bearable, and the story ends with a sense that things can, and will, get better for everyone. It's a message so many people have needed since the book was first published in 1987. I'm proud it has become a Puffin Modern Classic. It's a lovely fresh facelift I hope will bring in a whole new generation of readers.

Listen to Anne on Woman's Hour talking about the new Puffin edition of Madame Doubtfire, reading, writing and who looks after the cello.

"This author can make you laugh and cry and is too much of a treasure to be reserved for children alone"


Madame Doubtfire is a book for older children. It was first published in 1987, and inspired the highly successful film Mrs Doubtfire. The new Puffin edition was published on 2nd July 2015.

The US edition, published by Starfire under the title Alias Madame Doubtfire is now out of print.

Click the logo to buy Madame Doubtfire from Buy Madame Doubtfire from Amazon or order it from any bookshop or library, quoting the ISBN: 978-0-440-47350-3;
or click here to download the Kindle edition.