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By Nawal El Saadawi

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This is the 1st quantity of the autobiography of Nawal El Saadawi, giving an emotionally shattering, yet splendidly lyrical, portrait of her youth in a distant Egyptian village -- the youth that produced the liberty fighter. She describes vividly the tradition of where and time into which she was once born and likewise her intuitive -- and encouraging -- wish to go beyond the constraints pressured upon her due to her gender. From the very commence, escaping the seize of attainable marriage on the age of ten, we see how she moulded her personal inventive strength right into a weapon and the way using phrases grew to become an act of uprising opposed to injustice, best first to her profession as a physician and eventually to her iconic prestige as a novelist and political activist.

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Additional resources for A Daughter of Isis: The Early Life of Nawal El Saadawi: The Autobiography of Nawal El Saadawi

Sample text

My aunt Ni’mat told me that I was born like devils were, standing on my feet. When I asked my mother, she told me it had been easy, without pain, but the birth of my elder brother had been difficult. He did not want to leave her womb quickly, enjoyed the comfort and the warmth of his mother’s belly. When my aunt Rokaya became angry with him she addressed him as ‘mother’s boy’. When Aunt Ni’mat was not pleased with me she said I was the daughter of peasants. She called me the ‘Slave Warwar’ after one of her great-grandfather’s slaves in Istanbul.

Meaning that the question itself bordered on a great sin since the answer should have been obvious. Thank God for Our Calamities 41 their petals to the touch of the morning sun, and followed it in the same way as the earth circled round the sun. A bell hung over the gate of the garden. It rang loudly every time the door was opened or closed. Each time it rang the wolfdog rushed to the door barking fiercely, and eyes inside the house looked out to see who had come in or who had gone out. When my grandfather went out, my grandmother Amna sighed with relief.

Maybe God will send you a man worth much more than the likes of Muhammad Al‑Shami, and his whole family too’, at which Aunt Ni’mat would pull out a white silk handkerchief and wipe her tears, hiding her face behind the handkerchief so I would not see her cry. Aunt Rokaya would then lift the hem of her black tarha and dab her eyes, her mouth concealed behind it as she mumbled, ‘I spent fourteen years of my life with that useless man, Muhammadein. Year after year he gave me hell, beat me every night before he swallowed his supper.

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