Translator: Robin Bray Publisher: Saqi Books Place of Publication: Saudi Arabia Date of Publication: 2003 Language: Arabic ISBN: 0-86356-311-2 Number of Copies: 2 Author: Hamad, Turki

In his tranquil middle-class neighbourhood, eighteen-year-old Hisham doesn’t quite fit in. He’s a budding philosopher who spends his days reading banned books and developing his political ideals. His Saudi Arabia is a nation embroiled in internal conflict, torn between ancient tradition and newfound prosperity. Hisham finds himself caught up in the struggle for change, devoting more and more of his time to a shadowy group of dissenters even as he questions both their motives and methods. The result is an intense showdown between Hisham’s love for his family, his firmly held beliefs and his yearning for social justice. He awakens to passions both private and political, coming to grips with the paradoxes of a conservative land where illicit pleasures co-exist with the apparatus of a merciless state.