by Jean Sassoon - £7.99 Bantam Books (2004)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780553816402 | ISBN 10: 0553816403
Mayada Al-Askari was born into a powerful Iraqi family. When Saddam Hussein seized power, Mayada little imagined the devastation this would wreak upon her life. But soon she found herself alone in Baghdad, a divorced mother of two, earning a meagre living as a printer - until she was arrested in 1999 by the secret police & dragged to the notorious Badayat prison, accused of producing anti-government propaganda. She was thrown in a cell with 17 other 'shadow women'. They came from different backgrounds but all shared the same fate: imprisonment & torture without trial and the threat of execution. To block out the screams of other prisoners, the women told each other their stories. Mayada's tales of her privileged former life were a source of particular fascination, including her own encounters with Saddam himself.
(Price & availability last checked: April 2014)