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Cecile Pin Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Wandering Souls (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Cecile Pin grew up in New York City and Paris but when she turned eighteen, she moved to London and went to University College London to study philosophy, and would then go to King’s College London where she got her MA.
She is an author at “Bad Form Review” and made her debut when she published “Wandering Souls,” her first novel in 2023.

The novel won the “London Writers Award” in 2021 and made the long list for the” Young Writers’ Prize” by “Bad Form Review.”

Roundabout Books’ author Sara Rishforth was on the panel that selected her debut for “Indies Introduce.”

According to Rishforth, it is a powerful and compact novel that tells the story of a family run ragged by the rigors of immigration, as it tells a story of love, survival, ghosts, and family.

It was when she moved as a nine-year-old to New York City having lived in France for several years, that she learned the power of language given that she could not speak or understand any English.
She still remembers how debilitating it felt not to be able to voice her thoughts or needs without the help of her parents. Cecile also remembers how she used to turn on the TV and hear foreign noises when she wanted to watch cartoons.
Nonetheless, she soon realized that watching “Disney Channel” and “Nickelodeon” were great ways to learn English.

Thankfully, while some of her classes were taught in English, most of the others were taught in French, as she attended a French-speaking school.

Still, she had to rely on her classmates to translate things during the PE lessons since most of these were conducted in English.

These proved to be confusing times but they taught her about how powerful language is in expressing herself. She also learned that language is more than words, as it also involves hand gestures, tone of voice, and facial expressions.
Cecile also learned that body language is a universal and very powerful tool that can be used to express oneself when words are not sufficient.

Cecile Pin’s journey toward publication started like that of many others during the COVID-19 pandemic. She began writing her novel during lockdown while she was working as an editorial assistant.

Pin did not make much headway at first and had about 1000 words after months of writing. But then she heard about the London Writers’ Awards a few days before they closed the submissions window.

She added a few hundred words to her manuscript and submitted it, never expecting it to go anywhere, and was surprised when it was picked for the Literary Section of the 2021 cohort.

It was then that she gained much-needed confidence and began to take her writing more seriously. During that summer she submitted her draft to several agents and got eight rejections and four offers.

She signed with RCW’s Matthew Truner and began submitting to publishers in September just before the Frankfurt Book Fair. 24 hours later her wildest dreams came true when the 4th Estate’s Kishani Widyaratna pre-empted the novel.

As for the inspiration for “Wandering Souls,” Cecile Pin has said that most of her work is inspired by her family story.

Her mother was a boat person from Vietnam who left her home country following the war and then settled in Thailand and ultimately in France where she met a Frenchman who would become her father.
Just like in the book her mother lost half her siblings and her parents while immigrating across the world.

She has often said that she decided to set her novel in the United Kingdom since there were hardly any novels that provided insights into the general Southeast/East Asian diaspora or more specifically the Vietnamese diaspora.
Having lived in the English capital for almost a decade, she craved such a work, as it also made it possible for her to reckon her own place, particularly in the light of Brexit.

Now that she no longer works in publishing, she does most of her writing during the day and she is still learning how to best structure her days.
Pin now tries to read for several hours in the morning and uses her afternoons for her promo/admin work or writing.

“Wandering Souls” is a boldly imagined and luminous debut novel that tells the story of three Vietnamese siblings who find refuge in the United Kingdom, as it expands into a brilliant meditation on ancestry love and the power of storytelling.
When the last American soldiers leave Vietnam, Minh, Thanh, and Anh embark on a dangerous journey to Hong Kong, after their younger siblings and parents promise to soon follow.

But then the three children find themselves orphans and it is up to Anh to take care of her two siblings overnight. Anh and her siblings ultimately settle in the United Kingdom but have to live with new identities as refugees.
They initially live in overcrowded resettlement centers and camps, and then in London which is undergoing rapid urbanization that is causing raging anti-immigrant sentiment and social inequality.

Anh is employed at a clothing factory to earn a living and support her siblings. Minh loiters with other high school dropouts while the youngest Thanh loves to play soccer with his new-found British friends after school.
As they grow older, every one of them is racked with survivors’ guilt, but every choice they make results in their paths diverging even further until love is unable to keep them together anymore.

“Celestial Light” is Cecile Pin’s second novel set in 1986 that tells the story of Oliver Ines, who is born in a small English village.

This was the same year when the “Challenger” shuttle fell out of the sky soon after it was launched killing all aboard the rocket ship.

For the most part, this is the story of Oliver right from his idyllic childhood and how he fell in love with Philly his neighbor, and astrology too, as he grew up to become one of the most famous astronauts of the time.
Embarking on a long journey back home following a decade-long mission in which he visits previously uncharted locales in space, he reflects on moments suffused with tragedy and joy that made him who he is.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Cecile Pin

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