By Nawal El Saadawi
This is the 1st quantity of the autobiography of Nawal El Saadawi, giving an emotionally shattering, yet splendidly lyrical, portrait of her early life in a distant Egyptian village -- the formative years that produced the liberty fighter. She describes vividly the tradition of where and time into which she used to be born and likewise her intuitive -- and encouraging -- wish to go beyond the constraints compelled upon her as a result of her gender. From the very begin, escaping the grab of attainable marriage on the age of ten, we see how she moulded her personal inventive energy right into a weapon and the way using phrases grew to become an act of uprising opposed to injustice, top first to her profession as a physician and finally to her iconic prestige as a novelist and political activist.
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Additional resources for A Daughter of Isis: The Autobiography of Nawal El Saadawi, 2nd ed.
Her ears recognized it even if her mind was wandering elsewhere, in that distant world of hers. They would twitch in a movement of sudden attention like those of a cat. She knew it was Shoukry Bey, her husband, who had opened the garden door. She could hear his footsteps over the path paved with stone leading from the outer stairs. His step was slow, his foot trod with its full weight on the stone. His body was short and thin inside the dark woollen suit. The collar of his shirt was starched white, surrounded by a shining silken necktie.
Her eyes would bulge out more than usual from behind the glass of her spectacles, her hand would rise to her waist and suddenly her sharp voice would shoot out as loud as it could: ‘Why are you looking at me like that Ni’mat? ’ ‘Why, my sister? ’ ‘In what way are you better? ’ ‘Fiddlesticks. ’ My Aunt Ni’mat would then stick out her long tongue tauntingly, give her another of those sharp, bilious glares and repeat, spinster, spinster. ’ I did not know the meaning of the word divorcee, nor did I know what to be a spinster meant.
Ever since I was born God seems to have fated me to suffer. My luck is as dark as soot, may God help me. He chose Muhammad Effendi Al‑Shami for me, but the man didn’t even enter into me. We just signed the marriage contract and the Religious festival after the fasting month of Ramadan, also known as the festival of the Sacriﬁce. Fate. ’ The fingers of my aunt Rokaya would come to a stop. She would lift her tired eyes to Aunt Ni’mat’s face and exclaim with a gasp, ‘That’s terrible, Ni’mat Hanem.