This is one of those rare cases in which I find the author to be as interesting as the book she wrote. Zoe Ferraris was born in Oklahoma. The daughter of an Army Officer, she relocated quite often with her family, living in numerous countries. While attending college in San Francisco, Zoe met her husband to be, a Saudi Palestinian Bedouin and at the age of 19 they married. After the birth of their daughter and shortly after the first Gulf War, the three of them traveled to Saudi Arabia for a “short trip” to meet the relatives. For close to a year they lived in a conservative community with her husband’s family. There were rules for everything, and women were not allowed to leave the house alone, or they would risk being chased by the religious police and possibly even smacked with a whip.
Not long after returning to the United States, the couple divorced and Zoe’s husband moved back to Jeddah. She returns to Saudi Arabia from time to time and when in Saudi Arabia wears a burka. Zoe completed her MFA in Fiction at Columbia University in 2006.
Finding Nouf, Ferraris’s debut novel is a murder mystery which takes place in modern-day Saudi Arabia. and was published in 2008. Her second novel City of Veils which is also a murder mystery was published in 2010. Although I learned quite a bit about life in modern-day Saudi Arabia just by reading Finding Nouf, I would love to hear more about Zoe Ferraris’s experiences. I am sure that she has lots of stories to tell about her time in Jeddah as well as her relationships with her now ex husband’s family.