11:00 - 12:30
A not to miss conversation with Line Papin, discussing her new book, The Girl Before Her, a coming-of-age tale of dislocation and inherited trauma from acclaimed French Vietnamese novelist. Moderated by Dr. Isabelle Pelaud.
This autofictional novel marks the stunning English-language debut of award-winning French Vietnamese writer Papin. Told in three parts, The Girl Before Her moves from a small farming village in Vietnam to France and back again to tell the story of three generations of women as they confront themselves and one another through war, marriage and immigration. The novel’s narrator, the child of a French father and a Vietnamese mother, finds herself uprooted and adrift after she moves from the sunshine and chaos of Hanoi, where she was born, to the gray, cold worlds of Toulouse and Paris. This unexpected, unexplained rupturing of her childhood world causes a painful rift in her sense of self—one that ultimately leads to her being hospitalized for anorexia.
Gripped by a deep sense of uncertainty about who she is and where she belongs, she becomes preoccupied with understanding what persists—both in the body and in memory—regardless of where one lives or what languages one speaks. Written in a spare, poetic style, this meditation on the urgency of finding a place for oneself in the world is a passionate argument for the self-forgiveness that can only come from a deep examination of oneself. It has been described by Madame Figaro as “inflected with the flares of Marguerite Duras.” The Girl Before Her is the first book to be published by Ink and
Blood, a new imprint from Kaya Press and the Diasporic Vietnamese Artist Network, dedicated to bringing Diasporic Vietnamese literary voices to English readers.
Born in Vietnam and based in Paris, Papin (born 1995) is the author of five novels: Une vie possible, L’Éveil, Toni, Le Os des filles and Le Coeur en laisse. The Girl Before Her is the English translation of Le Os des filles.