Three Saudi Women Writers Make ‘Top 10’ Lists

The National yesterday ran a list of “the region’s women to watch,” which includes a jet pilot and a TV producer and one writer: Hissa Hilal.

The Abu Dhabi-based paper still referred to Hilal as a housewife (my pet peeve, if you haven’t noticed), but also noted that she was a poetry editor at Al Hayat, a major pan-Arab daily based in London. The blurb does not mention the collection Hilal recently edited, nor on the quality of her poetry, focusing mostly on Saudi women’s rights, of which Hilal is an advocate.

Saudiwoman’s Weblog also posted a list of the “10 most beautiful Saudis” yesterday, which includes two women writers: the “naughty novelist” Samar Al Moqren (who I discuss here in the context of “the ‘tyranny of sex’ in the Saudi novel“) and the similarly naughty Raja Al Sanea, author of the Girls of Riyadh, a popular book that was initially banned in the KSA. Al Sanea has said, presumably tongue in cheek, that she wants to win the Nobel Prize for Literature by 2015.