Books in the Media: Slimani's third novel a 'panoramic, ambitious tale'

Books in the Media: Slimani's third novel a 'panoramic, ambitious tale'

Leïla Slimani's third novel The Country of Others (Faber & Faber) picked up reviews in The Bookseller, the Guardian, the Times and the Financial Times this week. 

In the Guardian, the title was Book of the Week in the Fiction in Translation category, where Tessa Hadley wrote: "Nothing feels in the least dutiful or cautious, however, in her creation of her fictional characters; she still works her dangerous magic and delivers shocks, imagining the violence of their desires and rages." The novel, which is the first in a planned historical fiction trilogy, was also an Editor's Choice for The Bookseller's Alice O'Keeffe.

Over in the Times, John Phipps called it a "panoramic, ambitious tale" that it is a "morally difficult, slow-burn story about lives being suffocated by circumstance, one that’s carried off with greater sympathy and realism than anything Slimani has done before". 

Finally, in the Financial Times, Houman Barekat wrote that "as a didactic snapshot — of a time and a place, a culture and its mores, a moment in history — The Country of Others is a qualified success".

In memoir and biography, Georgia Pritchett's My Mess Is a Bit of a Life (Faber & Faber) picked up five mentions and was named one of the Evening Standard's best non-fiction titles of the year. It said: "We can probably consider her literary royalty now too, since her new memoir, documenting her struggles with anxiety, is already this year’s most Instagrammed book cover."

Pritchett, who is an award-winning TV writer and producer, also landed an interview in the Times with Dominic Maxwell, who called the memoir "revealing, but also spare and funny and wise and moving." The author was also interviewed by the i's Alice Jones. 

The memoir received five stars from the Telegraph's Helen Brown, who said that "on every page, raw anxieties are exposed, unpacked and defused with the expert wit you would expect from a comedy writer", whilst in the Irish Times, Amy O'Connor called it a "funny, engaging and poignant read" that sees Pritchett reminisce on a life defined by worry, insecurity and anxiety.