Woman at Point Zero

16 02 2016

“Woman at Point Zero”, by Egyptian author Nawal El Saadawi, is the brief and brutal story of a woman, Firdaus. We first meet her in prison as she awaits her execution before the tale’s narrator (like its author, a psychiatrist) manages to ask her about her life: a littany of negligence and abuses, sexual and psychological, and her experiences as a schoolgirl, a wife and a prostitute. It is a blistering attack on Egyptian (and Arab) society, and I read it in one sitting.

The book was originally published in 1975 in Lebanon and is regarded as perhaps the pre-eminent Arab feminist novel.




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