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Good Girls

Lauren Elkin: Leïla Slimani, 21 February 2019

by Leïla Slimani, translated by Sam Taylor.
Faber, 209 pp., £12.99, February 2019, 978 0 571 33195 6
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... For an unsexy book​ about sex addiction, you can’t do much better than Leïla Slimani’s Adèle. The new novel from the writer of the bestselling, Prix Goncourt-winning Lullaby (2016) asks the reader to watch uncomfortably as its protagonist moves from man to man, having many sexual encounters but zero orgasms. Adèle, an attractive Parisian woman in her thirties, with a husband, Richard, a child and a desultory job as a journalist, has what the DSM-5 would describe as a hypersexual disorder, that is, if sex addiction weren’t such a controversial diagnosis that the DSM-5 clinicians decided not to include it ...


Anne Stillman: Jean Cocteau, 13 July 2017

Jean Cocteau: A Life 
by Claude Arnaud, translated by Lauren Elkin and Charlotte Mandell.
Yale, 1024 pp., £30, September 2016, 978 0 300 17057 3
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... Jean Cocteau​ had a genius for being seen. As an elegant young man, with the cult poet Anna de Noailles on his arm, thanks to an introduction from Proust, he danced the polka at the Bastille Day ball in 1912, careful, first, to alert the photographers. ‘If I were to take a picture of a village wedding,’ a photographer once remarked, ‘Jean Cocteau would appear between the bride and groom ...

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