Rajaa al-Sanie's* novel, Girls of Riyadh (Penguin UK, 2007), was originally published in Arabic in 2005. Copies continued to circulate, in spite of a ban in Saudi Arabia. It has since been published in numerous editions (Lebanon, September 2006; French translation, 2007).
One of the characters in the novel, newly married, goes to Chicago with her husband, who is finishing a degree there. Rajaa al-Sanie said she was familiar with El-Aswany's novel Chicago.
She has lived there herself, while studying dentistry...
*Various transliterations of her name exist.
Interview with Rajaa Alsanea in the Telegraph June 30, 2007:
Read a passage from the novel, from Penguin UK website: