Leila Slimani & Mona Eltahawy in Conversation!
In September 2013, Mona Eltahawy published her groundbreaking manifesto Headscarves and Hymens in France (Belfond), and Leila Slimani interviewed her for the French magazine Jeune Afrique. Five years later, the tables will turn when the two women meet again as Leila Slimani, now the author of the international bestseller The Perfect Nanny (Chanson Douce, Gallimard), will be interviewed by award winning writer Mona Eltahawy! Join these two major writers as they discuss their work, the importance of feminism today, and their choice to talk openly about sexuality in conservative cultures.
Building tension with every page, The Perfect Nanny is a compulsive, riveting, bravely observed exploration of power, class, race, domesticity, and motherhood—and the American debut of an immensely talented writer.
Film versions are underway in France and the US. The novel immediately positioned Leila Slimani as a major contemporary French author.
In English. Free and open to the public. No RSVP necessary.
Watch the event on Livestream at 5pm on Saturday, April 21:
At only 35 years old, Leïla Slimani became the second Moroccan writer and the twelfth woman to be awarded The Prix Goncourt (France’s most prestigious literary prize). The President of France, Emmanuel Macron named her Ambassador of La Francophonie. Her first novel, Dans le jardin de l’ogre, was given the La Mamounia Literary Prize. Slimani’s latest work, an essay on sexuality in Morocco entitled Sexe et mensonges, has been nominated for the Prix Renaudot.
Mona Eltahawy is an award-winning columnist and international public speaker on Arab and Muslim issues and global feminism. She is based in Cairo and New York City.
She is the author of Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution, released April 2015, and is a contributor to the New York Times opinion pages. Her commentaries have appeared in several other publications and she is a regular guest analyst on various television and radio shows.
During the 18-day revolution that toppled Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak, she appeared on most major media outlets, leading the feminist website Jezebel to describe her as “The Woman Explaining Egypt to the West”.
In November 2011, Egyptian riot police beat her, breaking her left arm and right hand, and sexually assaulted her and she was detained for 12 hours by the Interior Ministry and Military Intelligence.
Newsweek Magazine named Ms Eltahawy one of its “150 Fearless Women of 2012”, Time Magazine featured her along with other activists from around the world as its People of the Year and Arabian Business magazine named her one of the 100 Most Powerful Arab Women.
Before she moved to the U.S. in 2000, Ms Eltahawy was a news reporter in the Middle East for many years, including almost six years as a Reuters correspondent and she reported for various media from Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Libya, Syria, Saudi Arabia and China.
In 2012, the Missouri School of Journalism awarded her its Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism and the Columbia Journalism Review named her as one of 20 women in the media to watch. In 2010 the Anna Lindh Foundation awarded her its Special Prize for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism and the Estlow International Center for Journalism and New Media at the University of Denver gave her its Anvil of Freedom Award. In 2009, the European Union awarded her its Samir Kassir Prize for Freedom of the Press for her opinion writing and Search for Common Ground named her a winner of its Eliav-Sartawi Award for Middle Eastern Journalism.
Mona was born on Aug. 1, 1967 in Port Said, Egypt and has lived in the U.K, Saudi Arabia and Israel. She calls herself a proud liberal Muslim. In 2005, she was named a Muslim Leader of Tomorrow by the American Society for Muslim Advancement and she is a member of the Communications Advisory Group for Musawah, the global movement for justice and equality in the Muslim family. Read more about Mona Eltahawy here.