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Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

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Nominee, 2010 Stonewall Book Awards

A best-selling book when it appeared in Arabic, The Others is a literary tour de force, offering a window into one of the most repressive societies in the world. Seba al-Herz tells the story of a nameless teenager at a girls' school in the heavily Shi'ite Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Like her classmates, she has no contact with men outside her family. When the glamorous Dai tries to seduce her, her feelings of guilt are overcome by an overwhelming desire for sexual and emotional intimacy. Dai introduces her to a secret world of lesbian parties, online flirtations, and hotel liaisons—a world in which the thrill of infatuation and the shame of obsession are deeply intertwined. Al-Herz's erotic, dreamlike story of looming personal crisis is a remarkable portrait of hidden lives.

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“Could be the most controversial novel to emerge in our times, not just from Saudi Arabia, but from the whole of the Arab world.”

“Seba al-Herz tells an unbelievable story about sex, intimacy, and sexual desires among Saudi women . . . where talking about one's sexual life and lesbianism is tantamount to revolution.”

“Intensely detailed, trance-like storytelling with moments of pure recognition.”

“[O]ffers a rare window into young, lesbian Saudi culture . . . The protagonist's journey of self-discovery and questions she reflects upon have universal appeal.”