On Saturday, February 23, the French Library and the Consulate General of France in Boston were honored to welcome bestselling author Leïla Slimani for an evening of discussion, questions, and book signings.
Many readers were introduced to Madame Slimani through her second novel, The Perfect Nanny. Originally published in French in 2016 under the title Chanson Douce, this novel took the world by storm. It won the prestigious Prix Goncourt, sold 600,000 copies in its first year of publication, and has been translated into 42 languages. The American edition became a best seller and was listed as one of “The 10 Best Books of 2018” by the New York Times. Last November, Président Macron offered Leïla Slimani the position of Francophone Affairs Minister to help “represent the open face of Francophonie to a multicultural world.”
Leïla Simani’s illustrious writing career began before the Perfect Nanny whirlwind. A prize-winning journalist who worked for Jeune Afrique (a magazine we receive here at the library!), she has tackled the intersection of sex, law, and religion through non-fiction essays and visual storytelling pursuits.
In 2015, her first novel, Dans le jardin de l’ogre was awarded the 6th Prix de la Mamounia. She is the only woman to receive this prize, which was founded to promote Moroccan literature written in French. She visited us in Boston as part of her tour promoting the English translation of the book, published January 15 with the title Adèle.
Miss the event? We’re pleased to share the video of our conversation which, thanks to YouTube’s hosting, you can even choose to watch with French subtitles to further your comprehension of the bilingual Q&A session (which starts at 14:58). To activate this feature, click the settings gear in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. Then, click “Subtitles/ CC” and select the auto-generated French subtitles.
Check out the library copies of her work below or in-person during your next visit to the Center!
Ingrid began her passion for French through the immersion program in Milton, MA, and has followed it around France and the world. She took a break from this first love to pursue a B.A. in English with a minor in Irish Studies at Boston College and a Masters of Library and Information Sciences at Simmons College. She is thrilled to meld her excitement for libraries and French language and culture in her position at the Center!