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Walking through Fire: The Later Years of Nawal El Saadawi

by Nawal El Saadawi - £13.99  Zed Books Ltd (2009)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9781848132290 | ISBN 10: 1848132298

In A Daughter of Isis, Nawal El Saadawi painted a beautifully textured portrait of the childhood that moulded her into a novelist and fighter for freedom and the rights of women. Walking Through Fire takes up the story of Saadawi‘s extraordinary life.
 
Famous for her novels, short stories and writings on women, Saadawi is known as the first Arab woman to write about sex and its relation to economics and politics. Imprisoned under Sadat for her opinions, she has continued to fight against all forms of discrimination based on class, gender, nation, race or religion.
 
This autobiography tells the story of a life spent in resistance and shows the passion for justice that has shaped her life and her writing. We read about her as a rural doctor, trying to help a young girl escape from a terrible fate imposed on her by a brutal male tyranny. We follow her attempts to set up women‘s organizations and to publish magazines later banned by the authorities or endangered by fundamentalist threats. We travel with her into exile after her name was published on a death list. We witness her first marriage to a freedom fighter hounded into drug addiction by a system which has no mercy. We share her struggle against her ‘false self‘ and a second husband who offers her financial security and comfort provided she stops writing. We live with the beautiful moments of her third marriage with a man released after fourteen years of imprisonment and hard labour, and the love, companionship, shared struggle and the differences between them.
 
Nawal El Saadawi has carved a place for herself in the universal struggle against oppression. ‘Words should not seek to please, to hide the wounds in our bodies, or the shameful moments in our lives‘, she says. ‘They may hurt, give us pain, but they can also provoke us to question what we have accepted for thousands of years.‘

(Price & availability last checked: June 2018)

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In booklists: Nawal El-Saadawi, Women Writers and Women in Literature, Women in Africa, Women's Activism,
In categories: Feminism & Women, World - Africa, Poetry & Writing, Changing the World,

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