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Pelican Girls: A Conversation with Julia Malye


Julia Malye, Courtesy photo

Bonjour Books DC
3758 Howard Avenue
Kensington, MD, United States 20895

March 14, 2024 7:00 pm


Join us for an in-person talk with Julia Malye about her recently translated new book Pelican Girls.

Two-time winner of the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire, Victor Dixen stands at the forefront of French fantasy. His acclaimed series include Animale, Phobos, Cogito, Extincta, and Vampyria. A nomadic writer, he has lived in Paris, Dublin, Singapore, New York, and now Washington, DC, drawing inspiration from the promises of the future as much as the ghosts of the past. Victor Dixen’s books have been translated into 10 languages.

Join us at Bonjour Books for an exciting in-person event with Victor Dixen and Nastasia Peteuil, journalist at French Morning Media. Get ready to immerse yourself in the bloodthirsty world of The Court of Shadows, the just-released English translation of the hit series in which Louis XIV has become a vampire!

A sweeping epic in the vein inspired by a true story, this stunning US literary debut captures the never-before-told journey of the Baleine Brides: a ship full of young women plucked from a Paris asylum and sent to marry settlers in North America’s rough Louisiana Territory.

This event is part of the DC Francophonie Festival and is co-produced by the Alliance Française of Washington and Bonjour Books DC with the support of Villa Albertine.

Event Format

Doors open at 6:30pm, and the event starts at 7:00pm. The conversation (in English) will be followed by a Q&A and signing session. Copies of the books will be available for sale. If you would like to pre-order your copy, click here. Your ticket includes a glass of wine.

About the Book

Paris, 1720. La Salpêtrière hospital is in crisis: too many occupants, not enough beds.

Halfway across the world, France’s colony in the wilds of North America has space to spare and needs families to fill it. So the director of the hospital rounds up nearly a hundred female “volunteers” of childbearing age—orphans, prisoners, and mental patients—to be shipped to New Orleans. Among this group are three unlikely friends: a sharp-tongued twelve-year old orphan, a mute ‘madwoman,’ and an accused abortionist.

Charlotte, Pétronille, and Geneviève, along with the dozens of other women aboard La Baleine, have no knowledge of what lies ahead and no control over their futures. Strangers brought together by fate, these brave and fierce young women will face extraordinary adversity—pirates, slavedrivers, sickness, war—but also the private trauma of heartbreak and unrequited love, children born and lost, cruelty and unexpected pleasure, and a friendship forged in fire that will sustain through the years.

At once a gorgeously written work of startling depth and emotion and a gripping drama marrying high-seas adventure with pioneer grit, Pelican Girls is a powerful, thought-provoking novel about female friendship and desire and the daunting compromises women are forced to make to survive.

About the Author

A native Parisian and graduate of Oregon State University’s MFA program in fiction, Malye is the author of three novels—La fiancée de Tocqueville (Balland, 2010) which was awarded the Prix des Lycéens du Salon du Livre du Touquet in 2010; Thémoé (Balland, 2013), nominated for the Prix du Jury du Salon du Livre du Touquet in 2013; and Les fantômes de Christopher D. (Fayard, 2016). Upon graduating from Oregon State University, Julia also received a degree from Sciences Po Paris and La Sorbonne in social sciences and modern literature, and was awarded the Prix de la Nouvelle of La Sorbonne Nouvelle for one of her short stories in 2015.

She’s also a Fulbright Commission’s Leonora Lindsley Memorial Fellowship recipient. Her work in English has appeared in the Chicago Quarterly Review. As a translator for the Parisian publisher Les Belles Lettres, she translated into French David Galula’s Pacification in Algeria, John Steinbeck’s Bombs Away the Story of a Bomber Team, Evelyn Waugh’s war diaries, and Steven Moore’s The Longer We Were There. She lives in Paris where she teaches creative writing at Sciences Po Paris, and at the Center for Writing and Rhetoric of Sciences Po Paris.

In partnership with

Bonjour Books

French-language books, gifts & more for all ages.

Alliance Française DC

Alliance Française is the leading center for French language, French culture and francophone resources in Washington DC.

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