£19.99 | $38.95

8 July 2010
ISBN: 9781848133358
384 pages
216mm x 138mm
Gender and Sexuality

Gender and Sexuality, Literature, Middle East

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The Essential Nawal El Saadawi

A Reader

Nawal El Saadawi

The writings of Nawal El Saadawi are essential to anyone wishing to understand the contemporary Arab world. Her dissident voice has stayed as consistent in its critique of neo.imperialist international politics as it has in its denunciation of women's oppression, both in her native Egypt and in the wider world.

Saadawi is a figure of international significance, and her work has a central place in Arabic history and culture of the last half century. Featuring work never before translated into English, The Essential Nawal El Saadawi gathers together a wide range of Saadawi's writing. From novellas and short stories to essays on politics, culture, religion and sex; from extensive interviews to her work as a dramatist; from poetry to autobiography, this book is essential for anyone wishing to gain a sense of the breadth of Saadawi's work.


God Dies by the Nile

'Powerfully political' - Poetry Nation Review

The Hidden Face of Eve; Women in the Arab World

'The Arab world's leading feminist and iconoclast' - Fedwa Malti-Davis

'The leading spokeswoman on the status of women in the Arab world' - The Guardian

'The most recognisable name in Egyptian and Middle Eastern feminism… poignant, penetrating yet simple' - Library Journal

The Nawal El Saadawi Reader

'Throughout her writing she sheds new light on the power of women in resistance - against poverty, racism, fundamentalism and inequality of all kinds' - The Middle East

A Daughter of Isis; The Autobiography of Nawal El Saadawi

. . . The author fought injustice all her life, suceeded in becoming a doctor... then a writer. In our culture women?s education was fought for by our grandmothers and great-grandmothers; reading this we are reminded not to take our good fortune for granted. This is a book we should all be reading...' - Doris Lessing

'As I finished reading Dr. Nawal's autobiography I felt a sudden sense of loss. I didn't want to leave her. I went back and read the last sections again, and then again, until I remembered how many other books she has written. Then I felt delight that I will be able to return to her words and to her stories, and that so many others will share in them.' - Bettina Aptheker

The Circling Song

'Without doubt the most prominent and prolific female author in the Arabic language. Dr. Nawal al-Saadawi has the uncanny ability to place her finger on the hot buttons that inflame Arab readers.' - Fedwa Malti-Douglas

Walking through Fire; A Life of Nawal El Saadawi

'El Saadawi's poetic prose and searing details keep the pages alive with stories of triumph, dissent, death and disappointment' - San Francisco Chronicle

Table of Contents

Preface by Nawal El Saadawi
Introduction by Adele Newson-Horst

I. Articles/Essays/Non-fictional Prose
1. How to Write and Why
2. How to Fight Against the Postmodern Slave System
3. First Trip Outside the Homeland
4. Introduction to The Hidden Face of Eve
5. The Seventh International AWSA Conference
6. Women and the Poor
7. God Above, Husband Below
8. The House of Desolation
9. The Streetwalker and the Woman Writer
10. Muslim Women in the Market
11. Bodour
12. Writing and Freedom
13. The Three Universal Taboos: Sex, Religion, and Politics
14. Breeding Terror or an Uncivilized Clash of Civilizations
15. Breeding Terror or an Uncivilized Clash of Civilizations
16. Fear and Writing
17. Obama's Speech in Cairo

II. Fiction and Poetry
18. Death of an Ex-Minister
19. My Ideal Mother
20. A Paper that was Never Presented for Publication
21. Sixteen Short Poems
22. Inspired by the Summit Meeting with the Elite
23. The Impact of Fanatic Religious Thought

III. Drama
24. Twelve Women in a Cell

IV. Interviews and Criticism
25. Feminism in Egypt: A Conversation with Nawal El Saadawi
26. Fed Up with Limited Thinking: An Interview
27. Conversations with Nawal El Saadawi
28. Nawal El Saadawi's Fall of the Imam: The Daughter of the Goddess of the Land Fells the Imam and Rises Again

V. Bibliographies
1. Bibliography of Book Length Works
2. Bibliography of Interviews
3. Bibliography of Criticism

About the Author:

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.