Industry: Culture & Society
Country: USA/Saudi Arabia
Rajaa Al Sanea took the world by storm when she released her bestselling novel Girls of Riyadh (or Banat al-Riyadh in Arabic). The book was first published in Lebanon in 2005 and in English in 2007 and is unconventional for its use of emails to tell the story.
The book, which highlights many problems faced by Muslim women in the kingdom, caused a lot of controversy when it was first published, and was banned by the government in Saudi. So strong was opposition that Al Sanea regularly received death threats for bringing her nation’s women into disrepute. The book was so successful that plans are underway to make the story into a film, whilst Rajaa was nominated for the 2009 Dublin Literary Award.