Touching Dry Land

Original title: Toucher la terre ferme

Author: Kerninon, Julia

Publication Date:

January 2022



Original language and publisher

French | L’Iconoclaste

Territories Handled

Netherlands, North America, Scandinavia


Narrative Non-Fiction

Touching Dry Land

Original title: Toucher la terre ferme

Author: Kerninon, Julia


An intimate narrative on motherhood and loneliness, and the other lives we’ve had and the lives we won’t be living. Becoming a mother, an interior monologue narration that osculates between happiness and turmoil from the perspective of a novelist who excels at relating intimacies.

The sensation of drowning…

At 30 years old, Julia Kerninon becomes a mother, which is “a situation that never ceases to overwhelm me, even though I really wanted it.” Motherhood is synonymous with happiness in the eyes of others, but for her it is like a “ring of fire.” Without giving the impression of being out of her depth, she tells us of her difficulty in finding the right position and of dealing with the burden of restrictions. “I considered running away.”

…until touching dry land.

While she advances by feeling her way through this new life, memories return to her like the call of the sea.

Passionate lovers, nights of freedom, unfettered writing, never-ending vagrancy. Julia Kerninon describes the young girl’s inner turmoil and her gradual transformation into a mother until she reaches the other side.

The strengths of the novel:

• A universal subject treated with rare precision.
• A personal insight into questions about couples and motherhood that Julia Kerninon has already touched upon in Liv Maria, her novel which brought her great success (35,000 units sold).
• A perspective on motherhood and its difficulties that will reverberate as a bestseller and resonate with young women of today.


I understood the strength of this role, of daily living, of domesticity and of platitudes. I understood the connection of life and death between the child and its father. I am currently a mother; my life is neither ahead nor behind me. I want a night of stars; a night of lullabies; a night of love.

Marketing Information

Under option in the Netherlands (Nieuw Amsterdam), Lithuania (Alma Littera), and Slovakia (Inaque).

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