• Sex and Lies

  • True Stories of Women's Intimate Lives in the Arab World
  • By: Sophie Lewis, Leïla Slimani
  • Narrated by: Sarah Agha
  • Length: 4 hrs and 29 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (29 ratings)

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Sex and Lies  By  cover art

Sex and Lies

By: Sophie Lewis,Leïla Slimani
Narrated by: Sarah Agha
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Publisher's Summary

"Jaw-dropping.... Inspiring.... A haunting and beautifully composed book.... It blew my mind." (Lisa Taddeo, number one New York Times best-selling author of Three Women)

A fearless exposé of the secrets and lies of women's intimate lives, by the best-selling author of The Perfect Nanny, Adèle, and In the Country of Others

"All those in positions of authority - politicians, parents, teachers - maintain the same line: 'Do what you like, but do it in private.'"

Leila Slimani was in her native Morocco promoting her novel Adèle, about a woman addicted to sex, when she began meeting women who confided the dark secrets of their sexual lives. In Morocco, adultery, abortion, homosexuality, prostitution, and sex outside of marriage are all punishable by law, and women have only two choices: They can be wives or virgins. Sex and Lies combines vivid, often harrowing testimonies with Slimani's passionate and intelligent commentary to make a galvanizing case for a sexual revolution in the Arab world.

©2020 Leila Slimani (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Vivid, at times unbearable testimonies.... In an act of rare humility and generosity, Slimani offers [these women] what they've been deprived of: a space to tell their stories, to exist." (San Francisco Chronicle)

"Potent.... An ensemble portrait of women drawn together through the force of pressures they all face.... Slimani keeps a light presence in the interviews, not unlike Svetlana Alexievich’s conversations with former Soviet women soldiers." (John Freeman, Lit Hub)

"I salute Leila Slimani for writing this important, honest and brave book.... As a writer from a Turkish background, I am moved by Slimani's words. The women she talks to could just as well have been Lebanese, Syrian, Jordanian, Palestinian, Iranian, Turkish." (Elif Shafak, New Statesman)

What listeners say about Sex and Lies

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Insightful

Realistic and enjoyable describing personal lives, social and political challenges in Morocco. Also somewhat characteristic of the Arab world.

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Necessary book

While there are many feminist books in the West, outside this cultural area there is complete emptiness. I am from Romania and many of the things the author describes are true for Eastern Europe as well. Otherwise, indeed, the book could have been better, especially in the research area. But it is difficult to find fault with Ms. Slimani - she made a generous effort.