In the consumer package, there is one object finer, more precious and more dazzling than the other – and even more laden with connotations than the automobile, in spite of the fact that that encapsulates them all. The object is the body.Jean Baudrillard
He took his clothes off and kept his long stretched yellowish underpants. He didn't offer me a glass of water or a rose. I didn't see chocolates or fruit. I didn't hear a word or a whisper. He didn't caress me as I imagined. He just sat on top of me like a camel afflicted with leprosy.Warda Abd al-Malik
The quest for the cosmopolitan woman that both the state and some sections of Saudi society strove to locate and highlight after 9/11 has found its expression in the fiction of an even younger generation of Saudi women novelists. Like the novelists discussed in the last chapter, these young women are urban, educated, sophisticated, and conversant in many languages. They belong to the emerging middle class that has benefited from oil wealth, education, and, since the late 1990s, the free market economy that opened up not only business and investment opportunities but also the media in its old and new forms. Unlike the novelists discussed in the last chapter, the new novelists are extremely young – for example, Raja al-Sani was twenty-four years old when she published her first novel, Girls of Riyadh, in 2004. Others may be slightly older, but they are still only in their early thirties. The heroines of this younger generation are immersed in a cosmopolitan fantasy, portrayed as cappuccino drinkers, shisha smokers, and globetrotters. They move between home, college, private business, and shopping centre like aspirant, privileged youth anywhere today. While al-Khamis's heroines move between the modern house in Riyadh and the village or farm, the new generation of novelists know only the local modern high-rise shopping centre, the cafe culture, and their equivalents in famous world capitals. Above all, they are ‘connected’ through their family networks, exploration of the virtual world of the Internet, and regular travel abroad. Their language is a mixture of Arabic and English, with the idioms and abbreviations of email messages, Yahoo groups, Facebook, and Twitter creeping into their everyday language.