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Voices of Change: Short Stories by Saudi Arabian Women Writers

edited and translated by Abubaker Bagader, Ava M. Heinrichsdorff, and Deborah S. Akers
Voices of Change: Short Stories by Saudi Arabian Women Writers
ISBN: 978-1-55587-750-7
ISBN: 978-1-55587-775-0
1998/172 pages/LC: 97-26942

"Voices of Change provides the English language reader with the unique opportunity to hear Saudi women's voices regarding their life spanning throughout the entire life cycle.... The variety of issues, views, and authors make this collection of special importance to ... readers interested in social, economic, and cultural developments among Saudi women in particular and Middle Eastern society in general."—Rachel Simon, Digest of Middle East Studies


Poignant and thought-provoking, this anthology offers a representative selection from the past three decades of works by the best-known women writers in Saudi Arabia. The authors’ stories of their patriarchal society afford rare insight into the traditional and changing roles, relationships, and expectations of modern Saudi women.

The editors provide an introductory essay on modern Saudi culture, as well as background on each of the major themes addressed in the stories. Students, scholars, and general readers of Middle Eastern literature will find this collection both entertaining and enriching.


Abubaker Bagader is professor of sociology at King Abdulaziz University and Saudi Arabia's deputy minister of culture. His many translations from Arabic include Assassination of Light: Modern Saudi Short Stories.The late Ava M. Heinrichsdorff was coauthor of The Fire Goddess and has edited several books, including Love with Paprika. Deborah S. Akers, a long-term resident of Saudi Arabia, is assistant professor of anthropology at Miami University.


  • Introduction—the Editors.
  • Had I Been Male—Najat Khayyat.
  • School Diaries—Badriyyah al-Bishir.
  • Tears of Joy and Sorrow—Jamilah Fatani.
  • Why Shouldn’t I Be Like Her?—Jamilah Fatani.
  • Zainab—Sharifah ash-Shamlan.
  • The Duties of a Working Wife—Wafa Munawwar.
  • Complete Calm—Sharifah ash-Shamlan.
  • To Celebrate Being a Woman—Fatimah al-Utaybi.
  • The Dove is a Woman—Nurah al- Ghamdi.
  • Just Give Me the Right to Dream—Fatimah al-Utaybi.
  • The Loss—Khayriyyah as-Saqqaf.
  • Saffron—Fatima ad-Dawsari.
  • Wednesday Night—Bashria al-Bishir.
  • In a Puzzling Whirlwind—Amal Abdul- Hamid.
  • The Reflection—Khayriyyah as-Saqqaf.
  • I Will Not Return—Qumashah al-Ulayyan.
  • If Only It Were Pity—Lamya Baeshen.
  • Fall Nights—Samirah Khashuqji.
  • A Single-Winged Bird—Lamia Baeshen.
  • The Last Dream—Muna ad-Dhukhayr.
  • The Game—Sarah Buhaymid.
  • I Never Lied—Qumashah al-Ulayyan.
  • Take Me With You—Najat Khayyat.
  • Burgan’s Ghost—Nurah al-Ghamdi.
  • The Madman—Jamilah Fatani.
  • One Thousand Braids and a Governess—Raja’ Alim.