by Leïla Slimani
translated from the French by Sam Taylor
From the February 18 & 25, 2019 issue of The New Yorker
Leïla Slimani is a young novelist from Morocco who won the prestigious Prix Goncourt in 2016 for her second novel The Perfect Nanny (or Lullaby in the United Kingdom). I haven’t read it, but I definitely heard a lot about it last year. Penguin followed it up by publishing her debut novel Adèle this past month. I’m curious if any of you have read either book and what you thought.
Of course, we’re here right now for the story in The New Yorker. “Here is how “The Confession” begins:
I can’t tell you my name. Or the name of the rural village where this story took place. My father is a feared and respected man there, and I do not want to bring shame upon him. He was born on those fertile plains but he made his career in the city, where he became an important man who wears suits and drives a big car. In my sixteenth summer, he sent me to “that hole” to learn the hard life of the countryside, to strengthen my soul and my muscles. “I don’t want you to be like those idle boys who wander our streets,” he told me. “There you will learn how to live.”
Knowing only what her two novels that have been translated are focused on (you can look them up), I’m wondering where “The Confession” will go and who here will think it worth the trip. Please comment below and discuss what you thought of the story or of Slimani’s novels.