A Daughter of Isis: The Autobiography of Nawal El Saadawi

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Zed Books, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 294 pages
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Nawal El Saadawi 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: religious, racial, colonial and neo-colonial. In 1969, she published her first work of non-fiction, Women and Sex ; in 1972, her writings and her struggles led to her dismissal from her job. From then on there was no respite; imprisonment under Sadat in 1981 was the culmination of the long war she had fought for Egyptian women's social and intellectual freedom. A Daughter of Isis is the autobiography of this extraordinary woman.
 

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Contents

Preface The Gift
1
Allah and McDonalds
14
The Cry in the Night
18
God Above Husband Below
28
We Thank God for Our Calamities
35
Flying with the Butterflies
41
Killing the Bridegroom
47
Daughter of the Sea
54
Uncles Suitors and Other Bloodsuckers
138
A Stove for My Mother
149
Coming to Cairo
154
The Long Strong Bones of a Horse
167
Love and the Hideous Cat
181
Art Thieves
187
Mad Aunts and Abandoned Babies
190
The House of Desolation
201

My Revolutionary Father
67
The Lost ServantGirl
75
The Village of Forgotten Employees
80
God Hid Behind the CoatStand
87
The Ministry of Nauseation
91
Dreaming of Pianos
99
To the Circus
104
The Singing Man
116
The Whiskered Peasant
128
The Secret Communist
209
Wasted Lives
222
Cholera Ageing and Death
236
The Quran Betrayed
247
British English and Holy Arabic
253
The Name of Marx
273
The Brush of History
285
Afterword Living in Resistance
290
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Nawal El Saadawi is a renowned Egyptian writer, novelist and activist. She has published over 40 books, which have been translated into over 30 languages.Nawal El Saadawi graduated from the University of Cairo Medical College in 1955, specializing in psychiatry, and practiced as a medical doctor until taking the position of Director General for Public Health Education in the Ministry of Health. In 1972 she lost her job in the Egyptian government because of her banned book: Woman and Sex. In 1982, she established the Arab Women's Solidarity Association (AWSA), the Egyptian Branch of which was outlawed in Egypt in 1991.In 1981 Saadawi was arrested and imprisoned for publicly criticizing President Anwar Sadat's policies. She was released one month after his assassination. Her name appeared on a fundamentalist death list after publishing her novel The Fall of the Imam in Cairo in 1988 and she was obliged to leave her country, to teach in the USA. Other court cases have been raised against both her and her daughter and defeated. In 2008 she defeated a case that demanded the withdrawal of her Egyptian Nationality in response to her play God Resigns at the Summit Meeting.Her most famous novel, Woman at Point Zero was published in Beirut in 1973. It was followed in 1976 by God Dies by the Nile and in 1977 by The Hidden Face of Eve. The Hidden Face of Eve was her first book to be translated to English and was published by Zed Books in 1980. Her most recent novel is Zina: The Stolen Novel (2008).Nawal El Saadawi holds more than ten honorary doctorates from different universities in Europe and the USA. Her many prizes and awards include the Great Minds of the Twentieth Century Prize (2003), the North-South Prize from the Council of Europe, the Premi Internacional Catalunya (2004) , and most recently she was the 2007 recipient of The African Literature Association's Fonlon-Nichols Award. Her books are taught in universities across the world.

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