By Nawal El Saadawi
This is the 1st quantity of the autobiography of Nawal El Saadawi, giving an emotionally shattering, yet splendidly lyrical, portrait of her youth in a distant Egyptian village -- the adolescence 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 limitations compelled upon her as a result of her gender. From the very commence, escaping the take hold of 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, prime first to her profession as a physician and eventually to her iconic prestige as a novelist and political activist.
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Additional info for A Daughter of Isis: The Autobiography of Nawal El Saadawi, 2nd ed.
There was nothing she could do but get up from her couch and move towards this stranger who had slept in the same bed with her for more than thirty-five years. My grandmother Amna was forty-four, but she looked seventy, with her shrunken body, her wrinkled complexion drained of all its blood, her swollen legs thrust into thick woollen stockings, her drooping features, her lids swollen over grey lustreless eyes like a surface of frozen water, under which had disappeared the irises and pupils. I asked my mother what had happened to my grandmother to make her lose the black of her eyes.
Life just came to a standstill. People were simply sad, and sorrow is easier to bear than infanticide. The sorrow might conceal a latent desire to bury the female infant, but it remained sorrow, just a darkness of the face, masking what is repressed beneath. During the first days of her life the female infant does not see this sadness. Her eyes which open for the first time on this world are too young, too innocent, unable to see the hidden. I was one of those female infants. Like them I did not take in the scene with my own eyes.
She was still in her youth but I am now over sixty-two. Thirty years have passed since my mother died, and yet it is as though she died yesterday. My tears are falling slowly. I let them fall. I used to hold them back. I was afraid that my mother, or my father, or someone else, would see me crying. I move the pen in my fingers over the sheet of paper. The veins in my hand are swollen, like they were in my grandmother’s hand. Sixty-two years of my life have passed without my knowing. Parts of my life have fallen into oblivion.
A Daughter of Isis: The Autobiography of Nawal El Saadawi, 2nd ed. by Nawal El Saadawi