The Nawal El Saadawi Reader by Nawal El Saadawi

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Writer, doctor and militant, Nawal el Saadawi has had a major influence on the lives of women and men globally. Author of many books, both fiction and non-fiction, which challenge our thinking about the politics of sex, Third World development, the Arab world and writing itself, she has been a constant thorn in the side of the class and patriarchal systems.

This collection of her non-fiction writing since the publication of her seminal book on Arab women The Hidden Face of Eve (Zed Books, 1980) presents the full range of her extraordinary work. She explores a host of topics from women’s oppression at the hands of recent interpretations of Islam to the role of women in African literature, from the sexual politics of development initiatives to tourism in a ‘post-colonial’age, from the nature of cultural identity to the subversive potential of creativity, from the fight against female genital mutilation to problems facing the internationalization of the women’s movement. Throughout her writing, she sheds new light on the power of women in resistance - against poverty, racism, fundamentalism, and inequality of all kinds.

Showing the intellectual and political development of an important thinker for the late twentieth century, this book is essential reading for students and lecturers in women’s studies, development studies and social theory. It is also a book anyone who wants to understand current global politics - in their widest sense - can not do without.

About Nawal El Saadawi

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Egyptian novelist, doctor and militant writer on Arab women's problems and their struggle for liberation, Nawal el Saadawi was born in the village of Kafr Tahla. Refusing to accept the limitations imposed by both religious and colonial oppression on most women of rural origin, she qualified as a doctor in 1955 and rose to become Egypt's Director of Public Health. Since she began to write over 30 years ago, her books have concentrated on women. In 1972, her first work of non fiction, Women and Sex, evoked the antagonism of highly placed political and theological authorities, and the Ministry of Health was pressurised into dismissing her. Under similar pressures she lost her post as Chief Editor of a health journal and as Assistant General Secretary in the Medical Association in Egypt. From 1973 to 1976 she worked on researching women and neurosis in the Ain Shams University's Faculty of Medicine; and from 1979 to 1980 she was the United Nations Advisor for the Women's Programme in Africa (ECA) and Middle East (ECWA). Later in 1980, as a culmination of the long war she had fought for Egyptian women's social and intellectual freedom, an activity that had closed all avenues of official jobs to her, she was imprisoned under the Sadat regime. She has since founded the Arab Women's Solidarity Association and devoted her time to being a writer, journalist and worldwide speaker on women's issues. With the publication by Zed Books in 1980 of The Hidden Face of Eve: Women in the Arab World, English language readers were first introduced to the work of this major writer. Zed Books has also published four of her previous novels, Woman at Point Zero (1983), God Dies by the Nile (1985), The Circling Song (1989) and Searching (1991) as well as a collection of her non-fiction writings The Nawal El Saadawi Reader (1997). She has received three literary awards.
Published December 15, 1997 by Zed Books. 304 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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