Derrière la grille

320 pages | Copies in French and English | Editions Stock | Author photo: ©Alain Schmidt

  • My father often mentions the story of my pet duck Pitou when he's teaching me about human nature. 'If you go and live with other humans, they'll treat you the way the other ducks in the pond treat Pitou. They won't think twice about making mincemeat of you for the stupidest reasons.'

The Only Girl in the World is an inspiring testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

Maude Julien's childhood was defined by the iron grip of her father, who was convinced his daughter was destined for great deeds. His plan was to raise the perfect 'super-human' being. Her father made her undergo endless horrifying endurance tests.

How did this girl, with her loveless and lonely childhood, emerge so unscathed, so full of the empathy that was absent in her childhood? How did she manage to escape?
The Only Girl in the World is a book like no other, a memoir that reads like fiction but sings with the power of the truth.

"Maude Julien's extraordinary memoir, The Only Girl in the World, is a harrowing yet achingly beautiful tale of a girl imprisoned by her brutal, fanatic family, but whose yearning for wonder and love ultimately drives her toward the improbable light of the world. This is a story of resilience unlike any I have ever read." -Mira Bartók, author of National Book Critics Circle Award Winner The Memory Palace

"The Only Girl in the World is one of the most original and compelling stories I've read. Maude Julien's love of books ignites an insatiable curiosity about the world outside the walls of the home where her parents hold her captive. A tale of hope and profound courage, Julien's story illustrates how trusting ourselves and following our hearts can save us from the most oppressive and cruel conditions. Her brave spirit shines as a bright reminder that what lies within us is stronger and more powerful than our circumstances." - Ruth Wariner, New York Times bestselling author of The Sound of Gravel

Rights sold

10 languages
  • Australia/NZ: Text Publishing
  • Czech: Jota
  • Germany: Droemer
  • Holland: HarperCollins Holland
  • Japan: Wave Shuppan
  • Poland: Sonia Draga
  • Portugal: Guerra & Paz
  • Sweden: Lind & Co
  • UK: Oneworld
  • US: Little, Brown