Nawal El Saadawi, writer and freedom fighter, has been pilloried, censored, imprisoned and exiled for her refusal to accept the oppressions imposed on women by gender and class. In her life and in her writings, this struggle against sexual discrimination has always been linked to a struggle against all forms of oppression. Her novels include "Women at Point Zero", "God Dies By the Nile", "The Circling Song" and "Searching". This autobiography paints a portrait of her childhood and shows how she moulded her creative powers into a weapon.
Table of Contents
* Foreword - Bettina Aptheker * Preface - The Gift * Chapter 1 - Allah and McDonalds * Chapter 2- The Cry in the Night * Chapter 3 - God Above, Husband Below * Chapter 4 - We Thank God for our Calamities * Chapter 5 - Flying with the Butterflies * Chapter 6 - Killing the Bridegroom * Chapter 7 - Daughter of the Sea * Chapter 8 - My Revolutionary Father * Chapter 9 - The Lost Servant-Girl * Chapter 10 - The Village of Forgotten Employees * Chapter 11 - God Hid Behind the Coat-Stand * Chapter 12 - The Ministry of Nauseation * Chapter 13 - Dreaming of Pianos * Chapter 14 - To the Circus * Chapter 15 - The Singing Man * Chapter 16 - The Whiskered Peasant * Chapter 17 - Uncles, Suitors and other Bloodsuckers * Chapter 18 - A Stove for my Mother * Chapter 19 - Coming to Cairo * Chapter 20 - The Long, Strong Bones of a Horse * Chapter 21 - Love and the Hideous Cat * Chapter 22 - Art Thieves * Chapter 23 - Mad Aunts and Abandoned Babies * Chapter 24 - The House of Desolation * Chapter 25 - The Secret Communist * Chapter 26 - Wasted Lives * Chapter 27 - Cholera, Ageing and Death * Chapter 28 - The Qur'an Betrayed * Chapter 29 - British English and Holy Arabic * Chapter 30 - The Name of Marx * Chapter 31 - The Brush of History * Afterword - Living in Resistance
Egyptian novelist, doctor and militant writer on Arab women's problems and their struggle for liberation, Nawal el Saadawi was born in the village of Kafr Tahla. Refusing to accept the limitations imposed by both religious and colonial oppression on most women of rural origin, she qualified as a doctor in 1955 and rose to become Egypt's Director of Public Health. Since she began to write over 30 years ago, her books have concentrated on women. In 1972, her first work of non fiction, Women and Sex, evoked the antagonism of highly placed political and theological authorities, and the Ministry of Health was pressurised into dismissing her. Under similar pressures she lost her post as Chief Editor of a health journal and as Assistant General Secretary in the Medical Association in Egypt. From 1973 to 1976 she worked on researching women and neurosis in the Ain Shams University's Faculty of Medicine; and from 1979 to 1980 she was the United Nations Advisor for the Women's Programme in Africa (ECA) and Middle East (ECWA). Later in 1980, as a culmination of the long war she had fought for Egyptian women's social and intellectual freedom, an activity that had closed all avenues of official jobs to her, she was imprisoned under the Sadat regime. She has since founded the Arab Women's Solidarity Association and devoted her time to being a writer, journalist and worldwide speaker on women's issues. With the publication by Zed Books in 1980 of The Hidden Face of Eve: Women in the Arab World, English language readers were first introduced to the work of this major writer. Zed Books has also published four of her previous novels, Woman at Point Zero (1983), God Dies by the Nile (1985), The Circling Song (1989) and Searching (1991) as well as a collection of her non-fiction writings The Nawal El Saadawi Reader (1997). She has received three literary awards.