Winner of the 2018 Fénéon Literary Prize
A subtle, captivating, and insightful exploration of the mysterious connections between love, submission, and creation.
Helen and Franck, both born into high-ranking diplomatic families, meet in Rome as high-school students and immediately detect in each other, the wounded child hidden beneath their gilded social status. Their relationship becomes a dangerous, explosive mix of love and friendship. Immediately after Helen's graduation, they leave their past and family behind to move in together in her apartment in Amsterdam. While Helen immerses herself in her studies and embarks on a promising academic career, Frank, after a few difficult years, makes a spectacular debut on the Dutch Art scene with his first paintings. Helen remains faithfully by his side during his rise to fame, overseeing the domestic details of his life in apparent total self-abnegation.
Are introverted Helen and flamboyant Franck who they really appear to be? Are they victims or monsters? Kerninon’s English language debut, full of masterfully orchestrated twists and turns, leaves these simple distinctions behind, and progresses into far more fascinating terrain.
Praise for Julia Kerninon’s My Devotion
“A musical and remarkably lively portrait.”—Le Monde des livres
“[Kerninon’s] talent illuminates every page.”— Le Parisien
“Julia Kerninon’s complex and evocative writing depicts strong characters whose numerous doubts and paradoxes remind us of our own. [Ma Dévotion is a] portrait of the inequalities inherent in each relationship, and the emotional burden that is often placed on women in order to keep these relationships afloat.”— Châtelaine
“A subtle, captivating, and insightful exploration of the mysterious interlacings between love, submission, and creation.”—Miriam Bridenne, Albertine Bookstore
“Ma Dévotion will not last long on your nightstand. It’s not just a novel. It’s a gift.” —Yannick Marcoux, Le Devoir
“A superb novel about self-sacrifice.”—Michelle Carpy, ELLE
“Julia Kerninon offers up a hypersensitive novel, with chiseled sentences and a melancholy tone. I adored this uncommon love.”—Fanny Morin, ELLE
“With an impeccable sense of rhythm, Julia Kerninon enchants us with her magnificent and subtle novel.”—Librairie du Canal
“How can such a young woman be so experienced in love, and have such mastery of language, storytelling, and characters?”—Évelyne Bloch-Dano, Le Magazine littéraire
Born in Nantes in 1987, Julia Kerninon has a doctorate in American Literature. Her first novel, Buvard, has won many awards, including the Prix Françoise Sagan. She was granted a Lagardère young writer’s scholarship in 2014. Her second novel, Le dernier amour d’Attila Kiss, won the Prix de la Closerie des Lilas in 2016.