Triumphant Trilogy

LYNSEY ADDARIO/CORBIS for TIME

WATCHFUL: Paintings of King Fahd, left, and King Abdul Aziz are a reminder of Saudi authority

Authors get used to criticism, but for Saudi Arabian novelist Turki al-Hamad, the critics could be deadly. Since the 1998 publication of Adama, the first installment of his sweeping coming-of-age trilogy, al-Hamad's work has been condemned as heretical and banned in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain. He has earned four fatwas and numerous death threats. Yet he continues to write, and find readers; he has sold some 20,000 copies of the Arabic edition of his trilogy. Last November, Shumaisi, the second novel in the trilogy, was published in English by Saqi Books to impressive reviews. His goal, he said in a...

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