Memoirs from the Women's Prison by Nawal El Saadawi
(Literature of the Middle East)

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Synopsis

Often likened to Rigoberta Menchu and Nadine Gordimer, Nawal El Saadawi is one of the world's leading feminist authors. Director of Health and Education in Cairo, she was summarily dismissed from her post in 1972 for her political writing and activities. In 1981 she was imprisoned by Anwar Sadat for alleged "crimes against the State" and was not released until after his assassination.

Memoirs from the Women's Prison offers both firsthand witness to women's resistance to state violence and fascinating insights into the formation of women's community. Saadawi describes how political prisoners, both secular intellectuals and Islamic revivalists, forged alliances to demand better conditions and to maintain their sanity in the confines of their cramped cell.

Saadawi's haunting prose makes Memoirs an important work of twentieth-century literature. Recognized as a classic of prison writing, it touches all who are concerned with political oppression, intellectual freedom, and personal dignity.
 

About Nawal El Saadawi

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Nawal El Saadawi is an Egyptian feminist, socialist, medical doctor, novelist, and author of a classic work on women in Islam, The Hidden Face of Eve (1982). She presently teaches at Duke University. Marilyn Booth is an independent scholar affiliated with the University of Illinois and a freelance translator. Her recent translations include Stories by Egyptian Women: My Grandmother's Cactus.
 
Published November 18, 1994 by University of California Press. 204 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction

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In this highly literary, Kafkaesque account, Saadawi, an Egyptian feminist, doctor, activist and author of books on female sexuality, recalls her imprisonment in 1981 for ``attack[ing] the ruling syst

Oct 31 1994 | Read Full Review of Memoirs from the Women's Pris...

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Yet there is a certain paranoia as well, that of someone on the far left who viewed Islamic extremists as allies in the fight for national unity against a government controlled by foreigners, someone who volunteered to fight with Palestinian guerillas in Jordan and saw herself as being victimized...

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