Taroudant - Franco-Moroccan journalist Leila Slimani won the Prix La Mamounia, a literary award considered the Moroccan equivalent of the French Prix Goncourt, for her novel “In the Garden of the Ogre.”
Taroudant – Franco-Moroccan journalist Leila Slimani won the Prix La Mamounia, a literary award considered the Moroccan equivalent of the French Prix Goncourt, for her novel “In the Garden of the Ogre.”
According to France24, Slimani is the first woman to win La Mamounia Literary award, which was created to award Moroccan francophone writers on the value of their products.
The novel tells the story of Adèle, an attractive, middle-class, Parisian journalist, who is struggling with her sex addiction.
“It’s the dark story of Adèle’s double life as a sex addict, constantly cheating on her husband, though not for pleasure,” Slimani explains at the award ceremony.
“She loses control of her life. This is a book about addiction; a book that asks if love can survive betrayal.”
Speaking about Slimani’s novel, Alain Mabanckou, the award-winning Congolese writer and a member of the jury said, “No man would have dared write what she did. It’s an extraordinary first novel.”
When asked about her choice of French language to write her novel, Slimani said, “I am not patriotic or nationalistic,” adding “the French language is like a country where I take refuge when I have nowhere else to go. It consoles me for everything. For me, the language no longer belongs to the colonialists.”
While Slimani’s novel has been very successful in French bookstores, some foreign media consider the novel “too brave” for the conservative Moroccan culture. The topic it discusses and its language are considered to be very explicit.
The Irish Times said that while the novel “slipped passed Moroccan censors, it’s a safe bet no Moroccan publisher would have dared print it.”