Moroccan writer Leila Slimani (35) has won France’s top literary prize, the Prix Goncourt, for her bestseller novel “Chanson douce” (loosely translated as “Sweet Song”).
The novel is based on sensational true life events of a nanny (called Louise in the novel) who murders the two children in her care.
Slimani is only the seventh woman to have won the Goncourt in its 112-year history and she is the second African woman to win the prestigious award after French-Senegalese author Marie NDiaye won the award in 2009 for her novel Trois femmes puissantes (Three Powerful Women). NDiaye is the first black woman to win France’s most prestigious literary award.
The Goncourt Prize, a French literature award, is presented by the Goncourt Academy (académie Goncourt) to the author of “the best and most imaginative prose work of the year”.
The academy was founded by the French writer and publisher Edmond de Goncourt (1822–1896).
The Prix Goncourt comes with a symbolic award of 10 euros, but far more significant that the monetary token is its value based on the book sales.