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Books

Every parent's nightmare: Killer nanny story garners Goncourt prize

French-Moroccan novelist Leila Slimani nabs France's top literary prize, the Goncourt, with her book about a nanny with a deadly agenda.

The novel by Moroccan-born Leila Slimani is likely to keep parents up at night. "Chanson douce" (translated as "Sweet Song") tells a ghastly tale based on a real-life event in which a nanny in New York stands trial for murdering the two children under her care. The book is now a bestseller in France.

Slimani, 35 and a mother herself, said that "the idea of paying someone to love your children for you" mesmerized her, reported AFP news agency.

"It leads to a very ambiguous relationship... We are always afraid they will steal our place in our children's hearts," she said.

The novelist and journalist grabbed attention with her first book about a nymphomaniac.

Slimani is only the seventh woman to have won the Goncourt prize in its over 100-year-old history. The author receives a symbolic 10 euros ($11) in prize money, but the Goncourt historically boosts sales in the hundreds of thousands or more. 

als/eg (AFP, dpa)

 

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