Slimani's 'erotic, daring' story of sex obsession to Faber

Slimani's 'erotic, daring' story of sex obsession to Faber

Faber will publish another novel from Lullaby author and journalist Leïla Slimani about a Parisian woman who appears to have the perfect life but is struggling with sex addiction.

Adèle centres around a respected journalist who struggles to balance her family and work with her compulsive infidelity.

Billed as “an erotic and daring story, with electrically clear writing,” a Faber spokesperson said it “will captivate readers with its exploration of addiction, sexuality, and one woman’s quest to feel alive”. 

Faber’s recently departed publisher Mitzi Angel acquired world English language rights, excluding USA, from Anne-Solange Noble at Gallimard. Louisa Joyner, editorial director, has now taken on the book. It has been translated by Sam Taylor and published in February 2019.

Adèle is respected journalist, she lives in a flawless Parisian apartment with her surgeon husband and their young son, the blurb reads. But beneath the veneer of ‘having it all’, Adèle is bored – and consumed by an insatiable need for sex, whatever the cost. Struggling to contain the twin forces of compulsion and desire, she begins to orchestrate her life around her one night stands and extramarital affairs, arriving late to work and lying to her husband about where she’s been, until she becomes ensnared in a trap of her own making.

Slimani was the first Moroccan woman to win France’s most prestigious literary prize, the Prix Goncourt, for Lullaby, which begins with the words "the baby is dead" and features a seemingly perfect nanny. It was acquired by Faber in 2016 and went on to be lauded by critics on its publication in January, also being picked as a Richard and Judy's Book Club title earlier this month, with the trade paperback selling 32,979 copies according to Nielsen BookScan. The Bookseller’s Alice O’Keefe praised the "elegant but non-showy prose" and described Slimani as “a talented writer impressively unafraid to challenge society’s darkest taboos”.

A journalist and frequent commentator on women’s and human rights, Slimani is French president Emmanuel Macron’s personal representative for the promotion of the French language and culture. Born in Rabat, Morocco, in 1981, she now lives in Paris.

Joyner revealed how she felt it was "such an honour to be inheriting this major author" from Angel.

"Lullaby was a Faber phenomenon and I’m genuinely delighted to be working with Leïla on ensuring we continue her already stellar critical and commercial journey," she said. Angel recently left  Faber to become senior vice president and publisher at her former firm Farrar, Straus and Giroux (FSG) - she was replaced by Granta's Alex Bowler.