Born in Hà Nội, LINE PAPIN moved to France at the age of ten. She is the author of five critically acclaimed novels: L’éveil (2016, Winner of the Vocation Prize), Toni (2018), Les os des filles (2019, Winner of the Readers’ Prize of Le Livre de Poche), Le coeur en laisse (2021), and Une vie possible (2022). She lives and writes in Paris.
A coming-of-age tale of dislocation and inherited trauma from the acclaimed young French Vietnamese novelist
French Vietnamese writer Line Papin’s stunning English-language debut, The Girl Before Her offers a window onto the existential anguish of displacement as experienced by a child on the cusp of becoming a woman. Uprooted without explanation from the sunshine and chaos of Hà Nội at the age of ten, the narrator finds herself adrift in the unfamiliar, gray world of France and grappling with a deep sense of uncertainty about who she is and where she belongs. Lacking the words to express her growing sense of alienation, she stops talking, then eating. She is hospitalized and almost dies from anorexia. Part meditation, part family history, part message in a bottle to her younger selves, Papin’s lyrical work of autofiction explores what it takes to embrace one’s multiracial, transnational self by making peace with the generations of women who’ve come before. The Girl Before Her is the first book to be published by Ink & Blood, a new joint imprint from Kaya Press and the Diasporic Vietnamese Artist Network (DVAN), which aims to bring Vietnamese literary voices from across the globe to English readers.