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Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea
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Girls of Riyadh (original 2005; edition 2008)

by Rajaa Alsanea, Rajaa Alsanea (Translator), Marilyn Booth (Translator)

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Member:BettcherForrest
Title:Girls of Riyadh
Authors:Rajaa Alsanea
Other authors:Rajaa Alsanea (Translator), Marilyn Booth (Translator)
Info:Penguin (Non-Classics) (2008), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 304 pages
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Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea (2005)

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» See also 48 mentions

English (41)  German (2)  French (2)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (50)
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
Chick lit from Kuwait. Four young women from very wealthy families search for love, and the meaning of love, within the strictures of religion, culture, and class. You think it's hard to navigate finding a loving mate as a Westerner? Try being a woman in the Middle East. ( )
  AuntieClio | May 28, 2014 |
bought 07/02/2009, Pearl City bookstore, 70 RMB

I'm always interested in reading about other cultures, especially those which are so different from my own. I enjoyed this book but it was pretty lightweight.

( )
  Susanna.Dilliott | Apr 23, 2014 |
It is like Saudi MB - only happy ending is not guaranteed. It is like secret lives of upper-class Saudi girls - more than physical access to men - they have phone sex and cyber sex et al. ( )
  poonamsharma | Apr 6, 2013 |
I read this book with pleasure. It is now a wide-known fact, that women in Saudi Arabia are not free. I knew a bit about that too. It is quite a hey subject, if brought in a serious manner. Nevertheless I liked this book.
The style of writing is different from what I've read so far. (Except for diaries, off course.) The e-mail form worked good for me, the only annoying thing was, that the author constantly commentend on the e-mails she received in reaction to the ones that she sent out.

Reading the book with western eyes made me sometimes wonder how girls of my age could behve like that. How could they be so docile, and, even when standing up to what ' everyone ' wants they just more or less completely put themselves in the shadow of their fathers, family, (future) husbands.

I hope that since this book has been published, things have changed at least a little bit for the women in Arab countries. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Mar 31, 2013 |
Saudi Arabia.

Touted as a breakthrough, this epistolary novel needs to be understood in its cultural context in order to be something other than not-very-engaging chick lit. Within that cultural context, this novel-in-one-sided-e-mails is discrepant, jarring, and revolutionary (at least within the domestic sphere of the rich). However, even from this perspective, I had trouble with what felt like a self-conscious effort to mimic "Sex in the City." The characters' cattiness and meanspirited comments about other women's looks didn't make me like or respect them. Unlike the real women of RAWA and other revolutionaries, these self-preoccupied characters inspire no admiration. While the premise could work, the book suffers from telling, not showing, and is more like a gloss of the story than the story itself. The narrative itself just dribbles away and does not actually follow through on some of the promises the narrator makes to the reader-as-e-mail-recipient. It's an interesting idea, but it doesn't stand as a work of literature without its political and historical frame. This is not your mother's feminism, and not in a good way. ( )
  OshoOsho | Mar 30, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rajaa Alsaneaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aabakken, AnneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Booth, MarilynTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Colombo, ValentinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Corthay, SimonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mossaad, AntonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rooke, TetzTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smiths-Jacob, BertaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woillez, CharlotteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"Verily, Allah does not change a people's condition until they change what is in themselves." -- Qur'an, Surat Al-Ra'd (The Chapter of Thunder), Verse 11
Dedication
To my most beloved; Mom and sister Rasha and to all my friends, the Girls of Riyadh
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Ladies and Gentlemen: You are invited to join me in one of the most explosive scandals and noisiest, wildest all-night parties around.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 014311347X, Paperback)

When Rajaa Alsanea boldly chose to open up the hidden world of Saudi women—their private lives and their conflicts with the traditions of their culture—she caused a sensation across the Arab world. Now in English, Alsanea’s tale of the personal struggles of four young upper-class women offers Westerners an unprecedented glimpse into a society often veiled from view. Living in restrictive Riyadh but traveling all over the globe, these modern Saudi women literally and figuratively shed traditional garb as they search for love, fulfillment, and their place somewhere in between Western society and their Islamic home.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:40 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The tale of four young women university students from Riyadh follows their struggles to navigate the precarious paths between desire, fulfillment, and Islamic tradition while witnessing how the Arab world is being changed by new economic and political realities.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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