Lullaby (Slimani novel)

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Lullaby (known as The Perfect Nanny in the United States; original French title Chanson douce) is a 2016 novel by French author Leïla Slimani.


Lullaby is Slimani's second novel,[1] and the first to be translated into English.[2] By January 2018 it had been translated into 18 languages, with intentions for a further 17.<[1][3] Originally titled Chanson douce, it was translated as Lullaby for the UK and The Perfect Nanny' in the USA.[1]

It sold 600,000 copies in France in its first year of publication.[1]


The book deals with the murder of two children by their nanny.[3] It was inspired by the real-life 2012 murder of children by their nanny in New York.[1][4]

Critical reception[edit]

Lullaby was described by Aida Edemariam (writing in The Guardian) as "stylishly written [...] brilliantly executed".[2] It was compared to Gone Girl by both Celia Walden of The Telegraph,[4] and Lucy Scholes of The Independent, with the latter describing it as "a psychological thriller that will have readers on the edge of their seats".[5]


The novel won the 2016 Prix Goncourt, one of the top French literary awards.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e Lauren Collins (1 January 2018). "LThe Killer-Nanny Novel That Conquered France". The New Yorker. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b Aida Edemariam (10 January 2018). "Lullaby by Leïla Slimani review – brilliantly unsettling". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  3. ^ a b Eva Wiseman (28 January 2018). "Lullaby, the book of the moment, is a wake-up call for us all". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  4. ^ a b Celia Walden (6 December 2016). "Is Chanson Douce the next Gone Girl? This author's book on a killer nanny is next year's must-read". The Telegraph. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  5. ^ Lucy Scholes (10 January 2018). "Lullaby by Leïla Slimani, book review: A chilling, horror-filled read, for sure". The Independent. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  6. ^ Romain Jeanticou (3 November 2016). "Goncourt 2016 : Leïla Slimani primée pour "Chanson douce"" (in French). Telerama. Retrieved 4 April 2018.