The Innocence of the Devil

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University of California Press, 1998 - Fiction - 233 pages
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Nawal El Saadawi's books are known for their powerful denunciation of patriarchy in its many forms: social, political, and religious. Set in an insane asylum, The Innocence of the Devil is a complex and chilling novel that recasts the relationships of God and Satan, of good and evil. Intertwining the lives of two young women as they discover their sexual and emotional powers, Saadawi weaves a dreamlike narrative that reveals how the patriarchal structures of Christianity and Islam are strikingly similar: physical violation of women is not simply a social or political phenomenon, it is a religious one as well.

While more measured in tone than Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses, Saadawi's novel is similar in its linguistic, literary, and philosophical richness. Evoking a world of pain and survival that may be unfamiliar to many readers, it speaks in a universal voice that reaches across cultures and is the author's most potent weapon.
 

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Contents

Ganat Arrives i
1
The First Session
14
Another Woman
30
Narguiss
38
A Fight in the Night
52
Nefissa
68
Ganat in a Moment of Consciousness
86
Guilt
104
And in the Beginning was the Serpent
130
Sinful Love
150
Nefissa Stops Calling Out
176
Ganat Breaks Out
198
The Innocence of the Devil
215
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The Modern Middle East
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The Modern Middle East
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About the author (1998)

Nawal El Saadawi is an Egyptian feminist, socialist, medical doctor, and writer. Her works include The Hidden Face of Eve (1982) and Memoirs from the Women's Prison (California, 1994). Sherif Hetata, who is married to Saadawi, is a physician and writer who spent thirteen years in prison for speaking out against the Egyptian government. Fedwa Malti-Douglas is Martha C. Kraft Professor of Humanities at Indiana University and the author of Men, Women, and God(s): Nawal El Saadawi and Arab Feminist Poetics (California, 1995).

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