A fearless exposé of the secrets and lies of women's intimate lives, by the bestselling author of The Perfect Nanny and Adèle

"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.
“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

“Challenge[s] one of the Arab world’s great taboos . . . [and] provides a rare, and perhaps unique, look into a patriarchal Arab society laden with hypocrisy.” The Times (London)

“Fascinating and surprising.” Elle (France)

“A nuanced and pragmatic reflection on the situation of women in Morocco and in the Arab-Muslim world.” L'Express