Paperback: Girls of Riyadh, by Rajaa Alsanea

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The Independent Culture

Banned in Saudi Arabia when it was published in 2005, Rajaa Alsanea's bold and funny portrait of four young women is now a global best-seller and has become known, for good or ill, as a Saudi Sex and the City. A witty and humane novel, set in a world where love fol-lows the laws of Islam and the rules of email etiquette, it shows the great sorrows and the petty irritations of women's lives and explains how marriage is like a watermelon on a knife.