La lessive et autres histoires des femmes migrantes

La lessive et autres histoires des femmes migrantes. 
(The laundry and other stories of migrant women) Editions d'en bas, 2017

The Laundry and other stories of migrant women is a collection of 15 short stories based on the real life of migrant women who arrived at Geneva driven away from their homes by wars, armed conflicts, persecution or the search of a better life. Despite the traumas that marked their paths, thanks to their courage and resilience, the protagonists managed to overcome their difficulties and reconstruct their life. They come from different countries from Algeria to Turkey, from Argentina to Rwanda, from very different social and cultural backgrounds, but their stories tell what unites us all: our quest to give a meaning to our life, to live in freedom, dignity, love, solidarity and justice. 
Through the stories of these lives, the major tragic events of our times - that made millions of people refugees and exiled - are evoked from the Armenian genocide to the Yugoslav wars, from the two world wars to the upheavals of the Middle East. The stories are told in different narrative styles that include classic short stories and fables with magic dimensions, in a poetic language that occasionally turns bitterly ironic.


"The work becomes a mosaic of various destinies whose common denominator is the hope to find a better life. It presents the protagonists’ social background, culture and origins and reminds us that it takes a lot of courage and resilience to leave one’s home.”
Sonya Mermoud, Hommage à des migrantes, ces héroïnes…L’Evènement syndical, No. 35- 30 août 2017. 📖

"The book finds a precise and just tone to talk about migration (…) By choosing the proper language and a literary form resembling a tale, (YK) found a stylistic approach that makes it possible to restore the honor and dignity of these women, without neglecting the tragic aspects of their destinies.”
Sita Pottacheruva, Introduction, Radioliteractif, 19 septembre 2017. 📖

"…in this collection of short stories YK. finds the just and poetic tone to speak about a question of actuality in the language of literature."
Sita Pottacheruva, Récits des femmes migrantes, Le Courrier, 22 Septembre 2017.📖

"The Laundry is a guide of elemental human feelings, of the search of a better life. (…) With the wisdom of a storyteller who has a driving license in neuroscience, YK. seems to handle perfectly the distribution of chemical substances that evoke empathy. For her, Geneva becomes a place of strong emotions; one will not look any longer at a stranger on the tram without wondering what it was like her 'once upon a time'."
Joëlle Kuntz, Des femmes blessées et réparées , Le Temps, 19 décembre 2017. 📖

"... YK brings us the voice of migrant women who often do not dare or do not want to talk about the painful stages of their life and their migratory trajectories. YK aims to highlight the beauty and inner light of these women who suffered so much."
Lento Blanche et Falaize Clémence, Diversité News, Le Journal des 5èmes Rencontres de la Diversité, Le Creusot, décembre 2017.

In March 2018 La lessive was long-listed for the Hors Concours prize, the professional prize of French-language independent publishing.

"…when I discovered the title of this collection of short stories, I was afraid that I’ll have a terrifying experience reading them. The subject seemed pretty heavy. Nevertheless (…) these stories radiate tenderness. Of course, terrible events are described, but with great tact (…) this book has the incredible strength of these surviving women (…) it deals with the questions of migration, the place of women, motherhood, family heritage, traditions…a very meaningful book…an essential book…”
Edith, Du temps pour nous, 23 mars 2019. 📖

"…these are touching stories that grab you by the gut (…) it’s impossible not to feel the pains of (these women) and their rare joys. However, there is always a luminous dimension, sometimes next to absolute horrors. This book demonstrates perfectly what good literature should look like!”
David Rumeaux, Sens critique, 28 août 2020. 📖

Book presentations and events

  • Salon du livre de Genève 2017. Lecture par Tania Nerfin et Pascal Cottin, Genève, 29 avril 2017. 
  • Salon du livre de Genève 2017. Round table discussion with Albana Krasniqi, Krysia Dowmont et Max Lobe, Genève, 30 avril 2017.
  • Soirée lecture, Theatre reading, Théâtre St Gervais, Genève, 3 mai 2017. [Watch on Vimeo]
  • Festival In-Cité 2017, Lausanne Literary Festival, Lausanne, 9-10 juin 2017. [Watch on YouTube]
  • Festival Livre sur les Quais, Morges Literary Festival, Switzerland, 2, 3 et 4 septembre, 2017.
  • Radioliteractif, Radio littéraire of Sita Pottacheruva, Radiocité, 19/09/2017.
  • Festival Livres-en-lumières, Ferney-Voltaire Literary Festival, France, 7 octobre 2017.
  • Rencontres littéraires, Public reading and discussion, Geneva, 13 octobre, 2017.
  • 5èmes Rencontres de la Diversité, 5th International Meeting of French-language literature, Centre Francophonie de Bourgogne, Le Creusot, France, 22-25 novembre 2017. 
  • Raconter le parcours des femmes migrantes, Les Yeux dans les Yeux, Une émission de Pascal Décaillet, Léman Blue Télévision ; Genève, 18 April 2018. [Watch TV recording]📹️ 📺️
  • Lecture en musique, Evening of reading with music, with Caroline Gasser et Manuel Calderon, ICAM-L’Olivier, Institut des Cultures Arabes et Méditerranéennes, Genève, 19 avril 2018. [Watch on Facebook]
  • Rencontres par Charlotte Lang, Radiocité, 14 et 15 May 2018. 
  • Punch Une émission de Charlotte Lang, Radiocité, 19 Oct 2018. 
  • INTERACCIÓ 18, Colloque Sobre la humanidad de los humanos, International Conference about the humanity of humans, Barcelona, Spain, 9-11 Oct 2018. [Watch on YouTube]
  • Livres en Ville, Reading with music with Tania Nerfin et Pascal Cottin, Librairie de L'Île, Genève, 2 mai 2019. 
  • La bugaderia, diàleg amb Yudit Kiss. Festival Només d’Anada, Només d’Anada literary festival, Roca Umbert. Fàbrica de les Arts ; Granollers, Spain, 12 May 2022. [Watch on YouTube]
  • Réfugiés et migrants à Genève. Construire une nouvelle vie : des espoirs aux réalités. Dialogue intergénérationnel organisé par Greycells. Geneva Forum on Migration and Refugees. Presentation with Tania Nerfin et Paco Chambi. Palais Eynard, Geneva, 6 décembre 2022.