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Emmanuelle Pagano was born in Aveyron in september 1969. She lives today in Ardèche, with three children, born in april 1991, september 1995 and may 2003. She has conducted university research in the field of aesthetics in film and multimedia. Fellow at Villa Medici, French Academy in Rome, april 2013 – september 2014. She has published twelve books, including six novels and several short story collections. Her novel Les Adolescents Troglodytes (2007) won the 2009 EU Prize for Literature, and her work has been translated into twelve langages.


Some novels and short stories in english :

Trysting, And Other Stories/ Two Lines Press, nov 2016 (Translation by Jennifer Higgins and Sophie Lewis)

Faces on the Tip of My Tongue, Perirene Press, august 2019 (Translation by Jennifer Higgins and Sophie Lewis)

« The White cover » , in Visual Verse (translation by Sophie Lewis and Jennifer Higgins), jan 2017, read

In six new fragment stories written for PEN Atlas, a foretaste of the book Trysting : read

« Night-Light« , short story, feb 2013,  read

« The Cancellation« , short story in the exhibation catalogue of FACE— »Investigations of a Dog », Works from Five European Art Foundations, read

Some Novels

Les mains gamines (Childish hands)
At first sight this pleasant, quite charming title appears to promisea fine poetic, childhood-filled tale. However, the story of Childish Hands is nothing but horrifying. It is the story of a girl who,throughout an entire school year, is daily and systematically rapedby all the boys in her class—all but one.Time has passed and now she is the housekeeper of one of her former torturers. She writes a journal to help her overcome this history that is at the same time a collective secret, but she doesn’t succeed, always comes back to it, and even goes so far as to suggest to her employer that he give a party for all their former class mates.One by one, four characters who, consciously or not, carry the secret are going to let us assess its implication. They are all women, women who have kept silent although they should have spoken up, or who don’t know but are suspicious, understanding especially inside their bodies, through their bodies, that something, some unmentionable presence, surrounds them.Through very skillful and deeply moving streams ofconsciousness, Emmanuelle Pagano reveals the secret and at the same time describes its concealment, which she does in a marvelous and implacable language that is both precise and sensual.
Translated from the French by Marjolin De Jager : Chapter 1

Les Adolescents troglodytes (The Cave teenagers)
Adèle, the narrator and main protagonist of The Cave teenagers, was born with a male body but subsequently underwent surgery to become the woman she now is. The story relates how she returns to her home region and takes a job driving the local school bus. Two lakes are mentioned in the extract. One is an artificial lake under which now lies the farm where Adèle was born and spent her childhood, with her parents and her brother Axel. The other is a natural, volcanic lake where she often goes to spend time on her own. It is beside this lake that the extract opens.
Translated from the French by Liam Hayes : Chapter 1

Le Tiroir à cheveux (The Locks in the drawer)
One should never speak about my neighbor, not even in her back. One should not talk to her either. She had not asked permission to fall pregnant. Actually for most things she would not wait for the permission to be granted. I think that she jumped over the gate, when she still did not have the right to the key. I would not have done so myself, but I would hide to write, because I was never too sure it was permitted. I was looking at my neighbor’s son, all crooked in his stroller, his eyes catching the full sun, and I was wondering what did not grant him the right to move, to see, to hear, to speak, to raise a hand to wipe his mouth. I was watching his mother and I was admiring her on the sly. I was admiring her for having done that, a forbiden child, drooling and hogging the sky to himself. I was ashamed also, the poor one. I have written down this story without permission, not even his, let alone his mother’s, just to tell her, way too late, your son looks handsome, as I was passing down the courtyard, and opening the gate in front of her.


Emmanuelle Pagano
Éditions POL
33, rue Saint-André des Arts
75006 Paris / France

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