2020 Longlist



Translated from the French by Sam Taylor

2020 Longlist

The baby is dead. It took only a few seconds.

When Myriam, a brilliant lawyer, decides to return to work, she and her husband look for a nanny for their two young children. They never dreamed they would find Louise: a quiet, polite and devoted woman who sings to their children, cleans the family’s chic Paris apartment, stays late without complaint and hosts enviable birthday parties. But as the couple and their nanny become more and more dependent on each other, jealousy, resentment and suspicions increase, until Myriam and Paul’s idyllic domesticity is shattered.

About the Author

Leïla Slimani is the first Moroccan woman to win France’s most prestigious literary prize, the Prix Goncourt, which she won for Lullaby. A journalist and commentator on women’s and human rights, she is French president Emmanuel Macron’s personal representative for the promotion of the French language and culture. Born in Morocco, she now lives in Paris.

Librarian’s Comments

Stunning noir novel set in bourgeois Paris. The story features Myriam and Paul, a young Parisian couple who hire a nanny to look after their two children. Louise seems like the perfect nanny, but who is she really? “Lullaby” is terrifying in its intense portrayal of cosy domesticity and unimaginable evil. Galway City and County Libraries, Ireland 

The dreadful tale of a infanticide committed by a nanny; a social-psychological novel written with a scathing pen, sharper than a serpent tooth. Bibliothèque Municipale de Reims, France

A novel that plays with feuds, class and racial stereotypes in a very subtle way.  Slimani is an astute observer of politics in the house. Artfully composed and brilliantly insightful. Stadtbüchereien Düsseldorf, Germany

A good thriller, but what appealed to me was that it gives a clear-eyed picture of Western societies combining liberalism and exploitation of others. It is also an accurate picture of women trying to combine career and having children. Universitäts-und Landesbibliothek Bonn, Germany

An incredibly compelling read that forces the reader to confront multiple themes. Both a psychological thriller and domestic fiction, this author presents a complex and difficult story of a beautiful family and their perfect nanny. Ferguson Library, USA



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