Original title: Ultramarins

Publication Date:

August 2021



Original language and publisher

French | Quidam Editeur

Territories Handled

Netherlands, North America, Scandinavia

Territories Sold

English (North America) (Deep Vellum, at auction)
Russia (La Nuova Frontiera, at auction)
Spanish (World) (Irradiador, at auction)
Germany (Kunstmann)
English (UK & BC excl Can) (Héloïse Press)
Russia (No Age Polyandria)


Literary Fiction

Number of copies sold:



  • Prix Marine Bravo Zulu 2021 (Winner)


Original title: Ultramarins


In this poetically written debut novel, Mariette Navarro successfully gets to the writing of metaphysical vertigo. — Zoé Courtois, Le Monde

The story is slow and strong, like a marine animal moving forward on the lock-out while sounding the invisible […]. The story treads carefully between realism and a fantastic world. It will land on its feet at final with such elegance. — Astrid de Larminat, Le Figaro

Sensations are described with a precision usually used to describe a landscape […]. Mariette Navarro, playwright and poet, here proves that her imagination has its sea leg. — Frédérique Franchette, Libération

Playwright Mariette Navarro’s first novel invests this multi-millennial topic of the sea travel and creates a disorientating world in the world. — Feya Dervitsiotis, Le Matricule des anges

The text sometimes invites for vertigo, regularly approaches the strange and gentle calls for madness. A deep experience with a taste of salt. Such a sensitive and beautiful language that catches you, transports you. It bewitches you. — Eric Gilbert, La Dépêche

This is, without a doubt, the highlight of this rentrée littéraire. — Muriel Steinmetz, L’Humanité

Ultramarins captivates us from the first to the last line […]. It is a fascinating, haunting novel, and yet of an admirable lightness, which suggests emotion by the force of its descriptions and by the subtlety and the beauty of its writing. —Gabrielle Napoli En attendant Nadeau

I can only write this: reading it was a joy for its beauty, is as always with the books that I love, a consolation. Colombe Schneck Madame Figaro

A dense and oceanic text, on the fringes of the fantastic. Which leaves a mystery tinged with anguish to float like the sheet of mist that envelops the boat for a few hours in a wadded cocoon. — Livres Hebdo

This first novel of raw beauty […] sailing between realism and fantasy. — L’Express

Ultramarins pushes us to the very edges of the narrative genre and throws us directly into the main characters’ turmoil. This fascinating novel sucks us in like the vast ocean it so aptly describes. We float somewhere between reality and fantasy and follow the beat of an unusual female ship captain and her cargo, presented to us like an old friend. A poetic and mesmerizing novel. Unexpectedly, aboard a ship crossing the Atlantic, the captain agreed to let the crew take a dip in the middle of the ocean, a stolen, fleeting dip.

Something changed during that unprecedented swim taken by everyone on board, except the captain herself, something that contaminated the rest of the trip. When everyone was back on board, it was like the crew had a new member. The boat itself became more and more independent. A simple business trip turned into a true adventure. On one side, the sailors – one single character with many voices; on the other, the captain. She was unaccustomed to going off-course. Together, they struggle to find their bearings and resume the trip they were scheduled to take.

Marketing Information

  • English translation available
  • Selected for the Prix Wepler, Prix roman Fnac, Prix Brassens, Prix Les Inrockuptibles,  Prix Passion Passerelles, Prix des lecteurs de la médiathèque de Villejuif, Prix Frontières – Léonora Miano, Prix Libraires en Seine, Prix littéraire des lycéens de la région PACA.