Pelican Girls: An Evening with Julia Malye and Anna North

Join us for a special evening with French writer Julia Malye, as she discusses her latest novel, Pelican Girls (Harper Books), with author Anna North.

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, slave drivers, sickness, war—but also the private trauma of heartbreak and unrequited love, children born and lost, cruelty and unexpected pleasure, and friendships 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.

In English. Free with RSVP: click here for tickets.

This event is organized by Villa Albertine.

JULIA MALYE is the author of three novels published in France and works as a translator for Les Belles Lettres. At the age of twenty-one, she moved to the United States to study fiction writing and graduated from Oregon State University’s MFA program in 2017. Since 2015, she’s taught creative writing to hundreds of students at Oregon State University, and at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University and Sciences Po Paris. Pelican Girls (Harper Books) is being translated in twenty-five languages. Photo credits: © Astrid di Crollalanza

ANNA NORTH is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the author of three novels, America Pacifica (Back Bay Books), The Life and Death of Sophie Stark (Blue Rider Press), which received a Lambda Literary Award in 2016, and Outlawed (Bloomsbury) . She has been a writer and editor at Jezebel, BuzzFeed, Salon, and the New York Times, and she is now a senior reporter at Vox. She grew up in Los Angeles and lives in Brooklyn.