A devastating first-hand testimony exposing the cruel and widespread practice of forced marriage I was twenty years old and dreamed of marrying for love. Leila was born and brought up in France by Moroccan-born parents. But her romantic dreams were shattered when she was forced by her father to marry a man shed never met, fifteen years older than her, and whose language she couldnt understand. The husband she didnt love beat her regularly in an attempt to force her into submission. But, with extraordinary courage, Leila fought back against the weight of family tradition to regain her liberty and dignity; and though it put her life in danger, she left her husband and later divorced him.
Leila is now 29 years old, and lives with her young son in Paris. She speaks out frequently in the media against the evils of forced marriage; but still prefers not to reveal her surname, to avoid causing her family further shame. The book was first published in France, where it caused a storm of controversy.
Leila Simona Talani is a Lecturer in International Politics and Political Economy at the University of Bath as well as a visiting fellow at the European Institute of the London School of Economics. She was previously a research fellow and then lecturer at the European Institute of the London School of Economics, and spent a year as Associate Expert on migration issues at the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention in Cairo. She gained a PhD with Distinction from the European University Institute in Florence in 1998. Her thesis has been published as Betting For and Against EMU (Ashgate:2000). She is also the author of European Political Economy: Political Science Perspectives (Ashgate:2004), Between Growth and Stability: the Demise and Reform of the Stability and Growth Pact (Edward Elgars:2008), Back to Maastricht (CSP:2008), EU and the Balkans: Policy of integration and disintegration (CSP:2008), The future of EMU (Palgrave: 2008), and From Egypt to Europe (I.B.Tauris:2009). Her current research interests focus on the political economy of migration flows from southern Mediterranean countries to the EU and on the credibility of exchange rate commitments and economic agreements. She is a native speaker of Italian but is also fluent in English, Spanish and French, has a working knowledge of German, and is learning Arabic.