The Country of Others: Leïla Slimani’s sprawling culture-clash epic

Book review: The Franco-Moroccan author is excellent on female subjugation in Arab culture

Leïla  Slimani: There is much that entertains and informs in The Country of Others.

Leïla Slimani: There is much that entertains and informs in The Country of Others.

The Franco-Moroccan author Leïla Slimani has made a name for herself writing searing novels about the experiences of women in the home and workplace. Her debut, Lullaby, was a chilling and insightful book about a female nanny pushed to the brink. It won the Prix Goncourt in France, with Slimani making history as the first Moroccan woman to receive the award. Her second, Adele, told the story of a Parisian journalist and housewife, a closeted sex addict leading a double life.

Both these books had a vital, of-the-moment quality, which fitted with Slimani’s background as a journalist and frequent commentator on women’s rights. In 2017, French president Emmanuel Macron chose her as his personal representative for the promotion of the French language and culture.

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