Books By Jean Sasson

 

For the first time, the international best-selling PRINCESS books are available in a boxed set.

IT ALL BEGAN WITH  PRINCESS, called "Absolutely riveting..."  by People Magazine.

This first book in the trilogy describes the life of Princess Sultana, a princess in the royal house of Saudi Arabia where she lives in a "gilded cage" with no freedom and no control over her own life.

The saga continues with PRINCESS SULTANA'S DAUGHTERS called "Another page turner..." by Publishers Weekly. DAUGHTERS continues the extraordinary story of Princess Sultana. Gripping and personal, DAUGHTERS recounts the lonely battle of a Princess who is attempting to secure freedoms for her daughters.

The third and last book completes the PRINCESS TRILOGY, called a "Political rallying cry...." by Publisher's Weekly. CIRCLE paints a horrifying reality for women of the desert kingdom. As Sultana battles for a life of dignity, she saves other women from servitude.

THE PRINCESS TRILOGY is the testimony of a woman of indomitable spirit and great courage.
You have never read a story like the story of Sultana, and you will never forget her or her Muslim sisters. 
 

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Princess:  A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia
(non-fiction-true story)
Page Count:  304 Pages
Size:  (in inches) 0.80 x 8.46 x 5.50
Price:  CAN:  $19.95 - USA:  $12.95
Pub. Date:  March 2001
Trade Paperback
ISBN:  0-9676737-4-7


Jean Sasson's international bestseller
PRINCESS
A New York Times bestseller named as "one of the best  500 books written by women since the year 1300." 

This bestselling book has been called "riveting" and "heart-wrenching."  Most importantly, PRINCESS has galvanized human rights activity all over the world, striking a chord with women of every age and nationality.  Many educators are now listing PRINCESS as required reading for their students.

PRINCESS describes the life of Princess Sultana Al Sa'ud, a princess in the royal house of Saudi Arabia.  Hidden behind her black veil, she is a prisoner, jailed by her father, her husband and her country.

Sultana tells of appalling oppressions, everyday occurrences that in any other culture would be seen as shocking human rights violations: 
thirteen-year-old girls forced to marry men five times their age, young women killed by drowning, stoning, or isolation in the "women's room." 
PRINCESS is a testimony to a woman of indomitable spirit and courage, and you will will never forget her or her Muslim sisters." 

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PRINCESS SULTANA'S DAUGHTERS

(non-fiction-true story)
Page Count:  256 Pages
Size:  (in inches) 0.72 x 8.40 x 5.43
Price:  CAN:  $19.95 - USA:  $12.95
Pub. Date:  March 2001
Trade Paperback
ISBN:  0-9676737-5-5

 PRINCESS SULTANA'S DAUGHTERS
Jean Sasson's compelling sequel to PRINCESS,
PRINCESS SULTANA'S DAUGHTERS

Readers of Princess Sultana's extraordinary story, PRINCESS, were gripped by her powerful indictment of women's lives behind the veil.  Now Jean Sasson and  Princess Sultana turn the spotlight on Sultana's two teenage daughters, Maha and Amani.

As second-generation members of the royal family who have benefited from Saudi oil wealth, Maha and Amani are surrounded by untold opulence and luxury from the day they were born and which they take for granted.  Stifled by the unbearably restrictive lifestyle imposed on them, they have
reacted in equally desperate ways.  Their dramatic and shocking stories are set against a rich backcloth of Saudi Arabian culture and social mores which are depicted with equal color and authenticity.

Throughout, Sultana never tires of her quest to expose the injustices which her society levels against women.  Princess Sultana once more strikes a chord amongst all women who are lucky enough to have the freedom to speak out for themselves.

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          PRINCESS SULTANA'S CIRCLE
(non-fiction-true story)
Page Count:  265 Pages
Size:  (in inches) 0.65 x 8.44 x 5.70
Price:  CAN:  $19.95 - USA:  $12.95
Pub. Date:  May 2002
Trade Paperback
ISBN:  0-9676737-6-3

                                                      PRINCESS SULTANA'S CIRCLE

The powerful story of Sultana continues with PRINCESS SULTANA'S CIRCLE.  Jean Sasson paints a horrifying reality for women of the desert kingdom.  It is a haunting look at the danger of Saudi male dominance and the desperate lives of the women they rule.

In her international bestsellers, PRINCESS and PRINCESS SULTANA'S DAUGHTERS, Jean Sasson vividly depicted the harsh restrictions endured by Saudi women.  These books described the lives of women who live in a society where they have few rights, little control over their own lives or bodies, and no choice but to endure the atrocities perpetrated against them. Now, in response to readers' tremendous outpouring of concern for Sultana, Jean Sasson and the Princess continue to expose the outrageous human rights abuses suffered by women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

When Sultana's niece is forced into an arranged marriage with a cruel, depraved older man and a royal cousin's secret harem of sex slaves is revealed, Sultana's attempts at intervention in their various plights are thwarted.  But when her nephews are caught committing an  unspeakable act against a 12-year-old girl, Sultana is galvanized into action.  Risking her personal status and wealth, she takes a stand against the complacency of her male relatives over the child's fate.  Ultimately, Sultana and her sisters vow to form a circle of support that will surround and shelter abused women and girls.

As with PRINCESS and PRINCESS SULTANA'S DAUGHTERS, the reader is compelled to read just one more page, one more chapter, once they begin reading this Arabian nightmare.

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Description of content and themes of the Princess Trilogy 

The reaction to the presence of the female Allied soldiers in the Persian Gulf war brought worldwide attention to the lowly status of women in Arabia. Incredibly, the Saudis imposed their restrictions of Muslim women on their non-Muslim women defenders, as well. Public debate on the irony of liberated, democratic men and women defending a government that espoused such restrictions for women caused widespread consternation and commentary. Around the world, the idea begin to form that one positive result of the war would be the loosening of the social customs that keeps Saudi Arabian women relegated to the dark ages. Sadly, this anticipated change did not happen. In the aftermath of the war, because of tightened restrictions on women imposed by the now more powerful religious men, the plight of these women actually worsened. 

One Saudi woman who watched this turn of events with great disappointment was a fiery Saudi Princess, a member of the House of Al Saud, the current rulers of Saudi Arabia. This Princess resolved, upon seeing the restrictions on women tighten, rather than loosen, that she would take an unprecedented and dangerous action: she would once again prevail upon a longtime American friend and writer to describe to the West, as she had experienced it, the everyday life of oppression for Muslim women, whether royal princesses or village tribes women. The author's sources were the true incidents in the Princess own life, beginning with her childhood, through her marriage, motherhood and her adult coming of age right up and through the Gulf war to the present day. In the process of recording Sultana's life, the Princess Trilogy also recounts the lives of other women around her: her mother, sisters, aunts, girlfriends, women servants, as well as the lives of other significant women who she seeks out or meets by chance. Since there was personal danger in revealing the secrets of the women of Saudi Arabia to the West, for the personal safety of the Princess, the author called her "Sultana." 

While recording the lives of Saudi women, the books, by necessity, recorded the lives of Saudi men. The author, in the telling of these true stories, describes how the beliefs and attitudes of both sexes are shaped and continue to be shaped by a social culture dating back many centuries. The books portray the relationships of Saudi men including the Princess' father, brother, husband, brother-in-laws, uncles and cousins in their intimate, highly charged, emotional encounters with the women of their families, as well as with women of other cultures. 

From the author's lively description of this diverse cast of characters, both male and female, the reader gets a picture of what it is like to live today, in the ultra-modern Saudi country whose culture is still steeped in ancient customs. The veil is lifted and western stereotypes are destroyed as readers follow the lives of Sultana and those of her family members inside their own homes, without the covering of veils or the artificiality of the public ceremony with outsiders. Authentic details, from the description of Middle eastern clothing, to the expenditure of their fabulous wealth on desert palaces, to the lavish entertainment and the extensive travels of the Royal Family, to the strictness of the religious and social customs that regulate their lives, are revealed as viewed through the author's description of the lively character of Sultana. 

The most startling revelation of all, however, is that the lives of the women in the fabulously wealthy House of Al Saud, even royal princesses, are repressed and constricted. Under the strict Saudi interpretation of the laws of the Koran, Muslim women, whatever their station in life, are punished and penalized for any supposed violation of a man's family honor. Similar behavior by Muslim men, however is ignored. What is most moving about this book is the fact that in the end, after we come to know the fiery spirit of Sultana, from early days as the baby of the family to the time she herself is the mother of veiled daughters, we are saddened along with her that although her individual efforts have made a difference to various individual women, in reality Sultana has brought no changes to her repressive society. As a Muslim woman, she still has little influence. We readers, however, are inspired by the glow of her interior life and her fierce challenge to injustice wherever she sees it. Sultana will never accept her male-dominated world. The example of her spirit motivates all who read the books in this dramatic trilogy to join Sultana in the continuing struggle to ensure that every women in the world is treated with dignity and respect.