Episode 141 - Leila Slimani - Lullaby: Part 4

18Mar

The final part of This Writing Life podcast's chat with Leila Slimani begins with a question about racisial abuse of Muslims in France. From here we discuss her relationship with Morrocco, with sexual politics in that country, between her fiction and her activism, and finally about the future: movie adaptations of her global smash-hit Lullaby and that next novel.

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Episode 140 - Leila Slimani - Lullaby: Part 3

13Mar

Part three of This Writing Life's podcast with Leila Slimani, author of global smash-hit Lullaby, moves towards more personal territory. We talk about her family, her background and her views on everything from the French language to women wearing the veil.

Along the way, Leila discusses her role for President Macron promoting the French language and ponders whether whether it is courageous to speak out on issues like Islamic fundamentalism that might put her in danger. During this, I accidentally stumble into terrain explored by her current work-in-progress.

The final part to follow.

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Episode 139 - Leila Slimani - Lullaby: Part 2

23Feb

Part two of Leila Slimani's conversation with This Writing Life podcast about her new novel Lullaby begins with a discussion of objectification: in this case, of the nanny who cares for the children of the Masse family. Slimani talks about her own vexed relationship with the woman who cares for her own children, about the power struggles in that interaction and finally about the idea of tragedy in the novel. We talk Mary Poppins, Mrs Doubtfire, and why Lullaby refuses both visions of modern childcare.

Part three to follow.

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Episode 138 - Leila Slimani - Lullaby: Part 1

15Feb

Leila Slimani's second novel Lullaby is a phenomenon. Having sold over 600,000 copies and won the Prix Goncourt in her adopted homeland of France, the book is now spreading around the world in various translations. A movie has begun filming in France and there are rumours of a Hollywood adaptation as well. The reason for the fuss is a plot that grips like a thriller and prose that dissects contemporary life like the most acute literary novel. The nanny of the well-to-do Masse family murders the two children in her care. From this terse, shocking opening, Slimani rewinds to examine the pressures that led up to the tragedy.

In Part One of our conversation at her London publishers, Slimani talks about titles, tragedy, modern parenting, the challenges of being a nanny and how families rely on women from across the world to facilitate their lives.

Part two to follow.

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