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The Three Saudi Novels of the Book Affair 2018

العربية
Novels, in our time, is one of the most spreading kinds of literature around the globe which makes the global novelist names known to everyone. Novels’ affect has reached more than that, as some cities and places in these cities has become tourist attractions because they have been mentioned in a novel or more. Where is the Saudi novel compared to the global novels and their affect? I don’t know the answer to this question, actually I hadn’t read any Saudi novel before the last month. Thus, the more appropriate question is: why I don’t read Saudi novels?

I have read the three novels I got from The Book Affair of Riyadh city in less than a month. I haven’t found anything that leads to answering my last question because they were as smooth and entertaining as every foreign novel I had read before. I realized that I can’t answer this question, but I can read the Saudi Novels with amaze and passion.

When i bought the three novels, I wondered which to read first because there was in my hand a novel I was honored to have the author’s signature on my my copy and another was chosen to be in The Shortlist for the 2018 International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF). I decided to start with Alsabi’ah by Hanan Alqood, The Sheeps of the Vitreous Tower by Nidaa Abu Ali, then finally The Critical Case of the So-Called “K” by Mohammed Aziz.

Alsabi’ah (A difficult word to translate)

It appears to be a romantic novel, but deeply it has mysteries which steel your ability to stop reading. The story is explored by a number of its characters, and the events are not following a timeline. That leads the reader to wonder how the story reaches a certain point or what will happen after other events, and how it’s all connected. This way makes the novel exciting and renewed. The novel explores a social issue or more and what might happen because of them.

The Sheeps of the Vitreous Tower

Reading the title makes you think that “the Tower” is just figurative, but the the tower is real in the story. The described working day in the beginning of the novel isn’t totally different than the one most of us face. The main character explores the story which is not a coincidence. Because in such events, you want to know what is going on in a person’s inner, as the events are so terrifying that you don’t want to live through.

The Critical Case of the So-Called “K”

This novel is totally of a different kind. It’s difficult to describe reading the novel entertaining, and I couldn’t read it fast because the main character explores his misery with its details; he descrribes where is the pains in which part of his body, how his brain effected, and so detailed and rough things that are unimaginable. However, reading the novel is exciting. This novel has hold its place in the Shortlist from the IPAF.

As these are the first Saudi novels I’ve read, I noticed a huge difference between the Saudi novels and others, and that is my belongingness to the society of the novel. When a social issue is mentioned, I can’t ignore my opinion in the matter. Despite some reservation and criticism on the three novels, they all took me on unique storytelling journeys that made me change my opinion of Saudi novels which I deserted my entire life.

I always wonder about novelist, how they wrote their novels and how the idea had started and how it evolved. It had started as thought to become literally all the words in every page of the novel. This isn’t simple. I wish I can meet a novelist who answer these questions.

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