God Dies by the Nile

Front Cover
Zed Books, 1985 - Social Science - 138 pages
15 Reviews

Nawal el Saadawi's classic tale attempts to square Islam with a society in which women are respected as equals is as relevant today as ever.

'People have become corrupt everywhere. You can search in vain for Islam, or a devout Muslim. They no longer exist.'

Kafr El Teen is a beautiful, sleepy village on the banks of the Nile. Yet at its heart it is tyrannical and corrupt. The Mayor, Sheikh Hamzawi of the mosque, and the Chief of the Village Guard are obsessed by wealth and use and abuse the women of the village, taking them as slaves, marrying them and beating them. Resistance, it seems, is futile. Zakeya, an ordinary villager, works in the fields by the Nile and watches the world, squatting in the dusty entrance to her house, quietly accepting her fate. It is only when her nieces fall prey to the Mayor that Zakeya becomes enraged by the injustice of her society and possessed by demons. Where is the loving and peaceful God in whom Zakeya believes?

  

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Review: God Dies by the Nile

User Review  - Anne Millen - Goodreads

I read this book years ago and was knocked sideways. I have just re-read it and am sideways again. That things have not changed is a tragedy, but we can learn something from it: Women's voices are not ... Read full review

Review: God Dies by the Nile

User Review  - Goodreads

I read this book years ago and was knocked sideways. I have just re-read it and am sideways again. That things have not changed is a tragedy, but we can learn something from it: Women's voices are not ... Read full review

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About the author (1985)

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), i (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.

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