Walking through Fire: A Life of Nawal El Saadawi

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Overview

Walking Through Fire is the story of Nawal El Saadawi, the first Arab woman to write about sex and its relation to economics and politics. It explores her extraordinary life spent in resistance, and shows the passion for justice that has shaped her life and writings. A sequel to her first autobiography, A Daughter of Isis, this book chronicles her time spent as a rural doctor, her attempts to set up women’s organizations and publish magazines later banned by authorities or endangered by fundamentalist threats, her time in exile after her name was published on a death list, and her marriages and ensuing struggles against her "false self”.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
"The older I become, the closer I come to my childhood and keep remembering it," writes novelist and physician El Saadawi in this sequel to her first memoir, A Daughter of Isis. Her new work is sprinkled with childhood experiences and memories, but the focus is on her adult life in Egypt and her four years in exile at Duke University. El Saadawi chronicles her experiences as a medical student, rural doctor, and defender of women's rights. She also describes what it's like to be a writer placed on a death list, a daughter confronting the deaths of her beloved parents, and a wife first to a freedom fighter, then to a lawyer she didn't love, and finally to a physician and writer. El Saadawi brings to life the politics, economics, and culture of a country enmeshed in colonization, imperialism, terrorism, and traditional patriarchal Islamic moral and religious values. Her honesty, strength, courage, and accomplishments are admirable and inspiring. This is essential for women's studies collections and should be in all public and academic libraries. Jeris Cassel, Rutgers Univ. Libs., New Brunswick, NJ Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781842770771
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 7/5/2002
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

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), GodDies 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.

Sherif Hetata is a writer and medical doctor who endured imprisonment and excile.

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Table of Contents

The Threat
• Spreading My Wings
• The Village Doctor
• The Tripartite Invasion
• What is Suppressed Always Comes Back
• Love and Despair
• My Mother Has No Place in Paradise
• Moments That Belong Nowhere
• The Death Threat
• Beyond Consciousness
• the Photograph
• The Scalpel and the Law
• The Defeat
• Searching for Love
• An Aborted Revolution
• The Dream of Flying

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