Layla al-Jihni is one of several Saudi women novelists whose work has risen to prominence since the 1990s. She writes in a surrealistic, stream-of-consciousness style that features interior monologues and psychological introspection. Her work is published abroad, but on the basis of interviews I conducted with Saudi women, it is accessible in-country. Although al-Jihni is not an activist, and her works do not directly engage matters of policy, her reasons for writing are more than aesthetic and transcend the ‘art for art';s sake’ ethic. Discourse is a source of power and influence, and al-Jihni';s fiction contributes to this discourse in ways calculated to broaden the scope of choice for women in Saudi Arabian society.

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