Author(s): Nicola Sutcliff
Saudi Arabia is one of the most closed countries in the world. To separate fact from fiction, Nicola Sutcliff decided to go behind the veil for four years living, working and socialising in Saudi society. The resulting project - this fascinating and revelatory book - aims to raise the voices of these women; to share their realities, dreams, frustrations and talents.
Through personal interviews, thirty women share their stories: from world-renowned activists to wives in polygamous households; high-ranking princesses to desert-dwelling bedouins. They talk candidly about the issues most intriguing to a Western audience - driving, sister wives and the religious police - as well as lesser known aspects of their lives, including under-the-abaya fashion, underground parties, and the practice of 'purchasing' husbands online.
Many of the topics they discuss are completely unreported, until now.
This beautifully illustrated and compelling book also includes timely essays on wide-ranging subjects including driving, marriage, male guardianship, religion, politics and sexuality.
Authentic, eye-opening, inspiring, courageous, this book will challenge stereotypes and reveal the intimate thoughts and details of women's lives in this most intriguing and mysterious of countries. At a time when the Kingdom appears to be on the cusp of change, this unique book captures the essence of what it is like to be a woman living in Saudi Arabia today.
“Queens of the Kingdom is an effective counterpoint to the popular depiction of Saudi women as oppressed victims. Its subjects have very different views on what life should look like in their country, but all voice a fierce pride in their agency and identity. The book fulfils the desire expressed at one point by filmmaker Amani, "to tell people that [Saudi women] are strong, that they're human.".
- Times Literary Supplement
”This magnificent book gives the perspective of 30 women in the kingdom. From global activism to marrying strangers in exchange for an education, this is the reality many Saudi women face....Mingled in between the strict rules and closed families are women who are finding their voices and prepared to break barriers for the future.”
- Sunday Times (South Africa)