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“People don’t want to look at the dark side of women”: Leila Slimani talks sex, freedom and the importance of writing flawed characters

She's gone from being arrested as a journalist covering the Arab Spring to being appointed Macron's minister for Francophone affairs. But for Slimani, true freedom comes from writing fiction

By Alex Peake-Tomkinson  

Slimani photographed in Malmo, Sweden in 2018. Photo: PA

Leila Slimani’s novel Lullaby not only won the Prix Goncourt in 2016, making her the first Moroccan-born winner of the prize, but it also was the most read book in France for that year. Emmanuel Macron, who is known to consider himself a man of letters, asked to meet her during his presidential campaign and she publicly supported him as a candidate.

French media subsequently reported that he offered her a job as a culture minister once he was elected but she has since accepted a less demanding…

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