In A Daughter of Isis, Nawal El Saadawi painted a beautifully textured portrait of the childhood that moulded her into a novelist and fearless campaigner for freedom and the rights of women. Walking through Fire takes up the story of her extraordinary life.
Famous for her novels, short stories and writings on women, Saadawi is known as the first Arab woman to have written about sex and its relation to economics and politics. Imprisoned under Sadat for her opinions, she has continued to fight against all forms of discrimination based on class, gender, nationality, race or religion.
This autobiography shows the passion for justice that has shaped her life and her writing. We read about her as a rural doctor, trying to help a young girl escape from a terrible fate imposed on her by a brutal male tyranny. We follow her attempts to set up women's organizations and to publish magazines later banned by the authorities or endangered by fundamentalist threats. We travel with her into exile after the publication of her name on a death list. We witness her first marriage to a freedom fighter hounded into drug addiction by a system that has no mercy. We share her struggle against her 'false self' and a second husband who offers her financial security and comfort - provided she stops writing. We live the beautiful moments of her third marriage with a man released after fourteen years of imprisonment and hard labour - their love, companionship and shared struggle.
Nawal El Saadawi has carved a place for herself in the universal struggle against oppression. 'Words should not seek to please, to hide the wounds in our bodies, or the shameful moments in our lives', she says. 'They may hurt, give us pain, but they can also provoke us to question what we have accepted for thousands of years.'
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.
1. The Threat 2. Spreading My Wings 3. The Village Doctor 4. The Tripartite Invasion 5. What is Suppressed Always Comes Back 6. Love and Despair 7. My Mother has no Place in Paradise 8. Moments that Belong Nowhere 9. The Death Threat 10. Beyond Consciousness 11. The Photograph 12. The Scalpel and the Law 13. The Defeat 14. Searching for Love 15. An Aborted Revolution 16. The Dream of Flying Index