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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 adolescence in a distant Egyptian village -- the formative years that produced the liberty fighter. She describes vividly the tradition of where and time into which she was once born and in addition her intuitive -- and encouraging -- wish to go beyond the constraints compelled upon her as a result of her gender. From the very commence, escaping the grab 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, top first to her occupation as a physician and finally to her iconic prestige as a novelist and political activist.

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Extra info for A Daughter of Isis: The Early Life of Nawal El Saadawi: The Autobiography of Nawal El Saadawi

Sample text

But his nose was the most prominent feature on his face. It was a big nose, curved slightly, like a beak. Under his nose were a pair of thick, long-haired whiskers, as white as his hair. reaching across his cheekbones almost as far as the tip of his ears. I stood in the main hall watching my grandfather as he climbed the wide marble steps. He would put his foot up on the step, hold his head high tilted slightly backwards on his neck, like a turkey cock, his fez as red as the cock’s comb. I could hear him clearing his throat with a loud noise to announce his arrival.

2 The Cry in the Night W ith the first light of dawn creeping through the night of that month of October, before the sun came up over the piece of land demarcated by a speck on the map almost invisible to the eye on the curving line, fine as a hair, known as the Nile, which pushes its way through desert sand, from south to north, and with the last stroke of four dropping like a dying gasp from the ancient clock on the wall, rose a cry, coming from the fourposter brass bed pushed up in a corner of the innermost room in the house, the cry of a woman in labour which went through the night just once.

My mother gave birth to me one year after my brother’s birth. Sittil Hajja said that I burst out of my mother’s belly like a shooting star. 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’.

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