Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman's Awakening (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Reading a memoir is like looking through a window into someone's life. If you're lucky the window is clean, the curtains pulled back just enough, and the life inside revealed in such a way that the reader learns something important and moving about that life. Good memoirs go a step beyond and reveal truths and realities about entire realms, and those truths and realities change forever how the reader views the world. This is one of those good memoirs. — From Dana


A ferociously intimate memoir by a devout woman from a modest family in Saudi Arabia who became the unexpected leader of a courageous movement to support women's right to drive.

Manal al-Sharif grew up in Mecca the second daughter of a taxi driver, born the year fundamentalism took hold. In her adolescence, she was a religious radical, melting her brother's boy band cassettes in the oven because music was haram forbidden by Islamic law. But what a difference an education can make. By her twenties she was a computer security engineer, one of few women working in a desert compound that resembled suburban America. That's when the Saudi kingdom's contradictions became too much to bear: she was labeled a slut for chatting with male colleagues, her teenage brother chaperoned her on a business trip, and while she kept a car in her garage, she was forbidden from driving down city streets behind the wheel.

Daring to Drive is the fiercely intimate memoir of an accidental activist, a powerfully vivid story of a young Muslim woman who stood up to a kingdom of men--and won. Writing on the cusp of history, Manal offers a rare glimpse into the lives of women in Saudi Arabia today. Her memoir is a remarkable celebration of resilience in the face of tyranny, the extraordinary power of education and female solidarity, and the difficulties, absurdities, and joys of making your voice heard.

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9781476793023
ISBN-10: 1476793026
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: June 13th, 2017
Pages: 304
Language: English