Watch Us Dance: A Novel (Paperback)

Watch Us Dance: A Novel By Leila Slimani, Sam Taylor (Translated by) Cover Image

Watch Us Dance: A Novel (Paperback)

By Leila Slimani, Sam Taylor (Translated by)


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“A rich family saga . . . [written with] voluptuous lyricism and emotional precision.” —The Washington Post

The rebellions within an interracial family play out against the countercultural rebellions of the 1960s in this sexy, stylish, sophisticated new novel by the award-winning, internationally bestselling author of The Perfect Nanny and In the Country of Others.

It’s the 1960s, and the air is electric. On the cusp of adulthood, two biracial siblings—one strong-willed and strait-laced, the other free-spirited and self-destructive—search for their place in a newly independent Morocco. But soon they find the ideals of their youth colliding with the realities of racism and corruption, as Moroccans once united against their colonizer make a grab for wealth and influence, and the national spirit of communal celebration gives way to elites telling everyone else to “watch us dance.” Drawing on her family’s inspiring story, Leila Slimani delivers a tense, provocative, page-turning novel about one family’s, and one country’s, coming of age in the face of the seductions of power and privilege.
Leila Slimani is the bestselling author of The Perfect Nanny, one of The New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of 2018, for which she became the first Moroccan woman to win France’s most prestigious literary prize, the Goncourt. Her other books include Adèle, Sex and Lies, and the #1 international bestsellers In the Country of Others and Watch Us Dance, which are the first and second parts of a trilogy of novels based on her family’s roots in revolutionary Morocco. Slimani is French president Emmanuel Macron’s personal representative for the promotion of the French language and culture, and is the chair of the jury for the 2023 International Booker Prize. She was ranked #2 on Vanity Fair France’s annual list of the Fifty Most Influential French People in the World. Born in Rabat, Morocco, in 1981, she divides her time between France and Portugal.
Sam Taylor is the award-winning translator of more than sixty books from French, including all of Leila Slimani’s fiction.
Product Details ISBN: 9780593493328
ISBN-10: 059349332X
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: June 18th, 2024
Pages: 336
Language: English
“A rich family saga . . . [written with] voluptuous lyricism and emotional precision . . . Ambitious . . . Kaleidoscopic . . . Compelling.” —The Washington Post

“It is no small feat to render a place and time as vividly as Slimani does in Watch Us Dance.” —The Cut

“Explores identity, rebellion, race and family dynamics in rich, irresistible prose.” —Ms. magazine

“There are several [books on my nightstand] right now, but only one that I can’t put down, and that is Watch Us Dance by Leila Slimani. . . . It’s terrific.” —Claudine Gay, Harvard University

“Engrossing . . . Quietly devastating . . . [Slimani] has the novelist’s rare skill of being able to nail a life in a single observation. . . . A novel that glides along with swan-like grace.” —The Sunday Times (U.K.)

“[A] rich account of how a family’s life entwines with history . . . Sprawling, enjoyable . . . Enlivened with richly descriptive writing that never romanticizes its subject matter.” —The Telegraph
“Convincing and enveloping . . . Expansive and intimate . . . [with] enthralling passages of lush description . . . expert precision and perceptiveness . . . and vivid, colorful brushstrokes . . . Slimani’s writing is beautifully atmospheric and has a panoramic, classic quality.” —Financial Times

“Engrossing . . . Watch Us Dance brings the complexity of the post-colonial period in Morocco vividly to life.” —Elle (U.K.)

“One of Slimani’s most ambitious [novels] yet . . . A story about rebellion and repression, belonging and appearance, love and its betrayal. It is infused with a raw earthiness.” —The Economist

“Although Slimani’s vibrant imagery evokes the sights, sounds, and smells of Morocco, the themes feel universal.” —The New Statesman

“Adeptly paints a portrait of Morocco at a complicated moment in time.” —Town & Country

“[A novel whose] themes emerge gracefully in Slimani’s languid, atmospheric prose.” —Star Tribune

“A super interesting book . . . A global literary thriller . . . It’s page-turning, it’s dishy, it’s kind of sexy . . . From a fiction-reading perspective, this might be my number-one pick on this list [of candidates for the ‘it’ book of June].” —Jeff O’Neal, First Edition: A Book Riot Podcast

“A tense page-turner . . . complete with the realities of corruption, racism, influence, celebration, and American hippies practicing free love and drugs.” —Fathom

“Heartfelt . . . A powerful portrait of a country and family in transition and characters bombarded by prejudice . . . Seamlessly shifts perspectives among the four family members, each perspective captivating in its own way.” —Shelf Awareness

“Convincing and immersive . . . An accomplished portrait of a time and place . . . Slimani continues to prove herself a powerful writer.” —Publishers Weekly

“An illuminating intergenerational drama . . . Paint[s] a comprehensive picture of a family and a country in the grips of an identity crisis.” —Kirkus Reviews