Cover image for A daughter of Isis : the autobiography of Nawal El Saadawi
Title:
A daughter of Isis : the autobiography of Nawal El Saadawi
Author:
Saʻdāwī, Nawāl.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London ; New York : Zed Books ; . New York : Distributed in the USA by St. Martin's Press, c c1999.
Physical Description:
294 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Personal Subject:
ISBN:
9781856496797

9781856496803
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library PJ7862.A3 Z464 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

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.


Author Notes

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.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Sa'adawi grew up in a traditional Egyptian household. Her older, less academic brother's failures were mourned, while her successes were not even acknowledged. Fighting gender discrimination the entire way, she persevered through university and became a doctor. This autobiography is the story of those years, before Sa'adawi's name became synonymous with the struggles against sexual discrimination and for women's social and intellectual freedom. Her father was also a great activist and believed in education for all, even his daughters. The book is almost less an autobiography and more a homage to her mother, whom Sa'adawi adores. There are no pages devoted to her years of writing and feminist struggles. There is only a short blurb at the end, catching up on her life to the present day. Although the book could have used an editor to deal with the occasional rambling prose, it is an insightful piece as it celebrates the family of Egypt's most interesting feminist. --Ellie Barta-Moran


Choice Review

Saadawi's attempt at autobiography consists of snatches and often repetitious tidbits from the author's personal recollections of her youth. Not much is drawn from her later life experiences when she became an activist and doctor of medicine; there is only a fleeting allusion to her political entanglements and specific episodes that first landed her briefly in jail, then in exile. One learns much about traditional culture in rural Egypt, vividly reflected in Saadawi's account of her family life and the social milieu in which she grew up. The resentments she developed against the favored male gender and her strong attachment to those of her own gender are extensively evident in her focus on female members of her family. She is heralded as a fighter for both equality and freedom for her sex in a male-dominated environment. By her determination and tenaciousness, Saadawi gives proof of female capabilities, first in overcoming handicaps of gender and then in accomplishing goals society reserved for her male counterparts. The book is a most vivid example of the status of rural women in a Muslim society and valuable for acquiring a basic understanding of how the Egyptian milieu functions. General readers; undergraduates. C. E. Farah; University of Minnesota


Table of Contents

Preface: The Gift
Allah and MacDonalds
A Cry in the Night
God Above, Husband Below
We Thank God for Our Calamities
Flying with Butterflies
Killing the Bridegroom
Daughter of the Sea
My Revolutionary Father
The Lost Servant Girl
The Village of Forgotten Employees
God Hid Behind the Coat-Stand
The Ministry of Nauseation
Dreaming of Pianos
To the Circus
The Singing Man
The Whiskered Peasant
Uncles, Suitors and Other Blood-Suckers
A Stove for My Mother
Coming to Cairo
The Long, Strong Bones of a Horse
Love and the Hideous Cat
Art Thieves
Mad Aunts and Abandoned Babies
The House of Desolation
The Secret Communist
Wasted Lives
Plague, Ageing and Death
The Koran Betrayed
British English and Holy Arabic
The Name of Marx
The Brush of History
Afterword--Living in Resistance
Preface: The Gift
Allah and MacDonalds
A Cry in the Night
God Above, Husband Below
We Thank God for Our Calamities
Flying with Butterflies
Killing the Bridegroom
Daughter of the Sea
My Revolutionary Father
The Lost Servant Girl
The Village of Forgotten Employees
God Hid Behind the Coat-Stand
The Ministry of Nauseation
Dreaming of Pianos
To the Circus
The Singing Man
The Whiskered Peasant
Uncles, Suitors and Other Blood-Suckers
A Stove for My Mother
Coming to Cairo
The Long, Strong Bones of a Horse
Love and the Hideous Cat
Art Thieves
Mad Aunts and Abandoned Babies
The House of Desolation
The Secret Communist
Wasted Lives
Plague, Ageing and Death
The Koran Betrayed
British English and Holy Arabic
The Name of Marx
The Brush of History
Afterword--Living in Resistance

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