“The Perfect Nanny” exploits working mothers’ fears

News

The Perfect Nanny. By Leïla Slimani. Translated by Sam Taylor. Penguin; 240 pages; $16. Published in Britain as “Lullaby”. Faber and Faber; £12.99.

LEÏLA SLIMANI is a young Moroccan-born journalist based in Paris. Her first novel, about a woman who becomes addicted to sex as relief from her stifling bourgeois life, was compared to “Anna Karenina” and “Madame Bovary”. Her second won the Goncourt prize in 2016. This month it comes out in English.

Like her first work, inspired by the sex scandal that felled Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a French political grandee, “The Perfect Nanny” is also based on a true story, about a nanny who murders her small charges. Myriam Massé is a promising young lawyer who embraces motherhood but finds domesticity suffocating. Her husband, Paul, does not want his children brought up by immigrants. “Not too old, no veils and no smokers.” The family lives in a handsome building in the tenth arrondissement…Continue reading

Powered by WPeMatico

News
Personal pronouns are changing fast

NOT so long ago a man could be jailed in Texas for sex with another man. In 2015 a county clerk in Kentucky was jailed for refusing to certify the marriage of two men. Gay rights in America proceeded at an extraordinary rate between Lawrence v Texas (2003), in which …

News
Giorgio Vasari, the man who created art history

Vasari made craftsmen into stars The Collector of Lives: Giorgio Vasari and the Invention of Art. By Ingrid Rowland and Noah Charney. Norton; 432 pages; $29.95 and £23.99. TOWARDS the end of his life Michelangelo Buonarroti, the most famous artist of the Italian Renaissance, began burning his drawings. He did …

News
Esther Kinsky muses on a river in England

Esther Kinsky goes with history’s flow River. By Esther Kinsky. Translated by Iain Galbraith. Fitzcarraldo; 368 pages; £12.99. To be published in America this autumn by Transit Books. IN HER post-war childhood beside the Rhine, the narrator of Esther Kinsky’s third novel learns that “every river is a border.” Flowing …