Girls of Riyadh

I recently read the English translation of Girls of Riyadh, written by Rajaa Alsanea at the age of 23.  In structure and theme I found it reminiscent of two American novels: Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan and The Dirty Girls Social Club by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez.  All three books are about a group of women friends and their romantic, professional, and family lives.  But the Saudia Arabian city of Riyadh makes for a very different, and fascinating, social context for the young women’s stories.  The author, now 25, is a  dentist who’s studying endodontics in Chicago and plans to return to practise in Saudia Arabia once she graduates.  (And to continue writing, I hope!)

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