The Review at The National has a piece on the flourishing of the Saudi lit scene, in part spurred by the international success of "Banaat Riyadh" ("Girls of Riyadh").
The last few years have witnessed what one critic has called a tsunami of Saudi writing: some 50 to 100 novels published each year, up from five to 10 in years past. That’s partly due to the 2007 release of Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea, a diaristic account of four upper-class young women and their illicit love affairs, set here in the capital. Trashy? Maybe. But also a rare look into a once-forbidden realm of experience, and an undeniable catalyst.
“It’s not good literature,” Ahmed says. “But it did create a lot of controversy and encouraged people to write their own novels.”