The writings of Nawal El Saadawi are essential to anyone wishing to understand the contemporary Arab world. Her dissident voice has stayed as consistent in its critique of neo.imperialist international politics as it has in its denunciation of women's oppression, both in her native Egypt and in the wider world.
Saadawi is a figure of international significance, and her work has a central place in Arabic history and culture of the last half century. Featuring work never before translated into English, The Essential Nawal El Saadawi gathers together a wide range of Saadawi's writing. From novellas and short stories to essays on politics, culture, religion and sex; from extensive interviews to her work as a dramatist; from poetry to autobiography, this book is essential for anyone wishing to gain a sense of the breadth of Saadawi's work.
Nawal El Saadawi is a renowned Egyptian writer, novelist and activist. She has published over 40 books, which have been translated into over 30 languages. Nawal El Saadawi graduated from the University of Cairo Medical College in 1955, specializing in psychiatry, and practiced as a medical doctor until taking the position of Director General for Public Health Education in the Ministry of Health. In 1972 she lost her job in the Egyptian government because of her banned book: Woman and Sex. In 1982, she established the Arab Women's Solidarity Association (AWSA), the Egyptian Branch of which was outlawed in Egypt in 1991. In 1981 Saadawi was arrested and imprisoned for publicly criticizing President Anwar Sadat's policies. She was released one month after his assassination. Her name appeared on a fundamentalist death list after publishing her novel The Fall of the Imam in Cairo in 1988 and she was obliged to leave her country, to teach in the USA. Other court cases have been raised against both her and her daughter and defeated. In 2008 she defeated a case that demanded the withdrawal of her Egyptian Nationality in response to her play God Resigns at the Summit Meeting. Her most famous novel, Woman at Point Zero was published in Beirut in 1973. It was followed in 1976 by God Dies by the Nile and in 1977 by The Hidden Face of Eve. The Hidden Face of Eve was her first book to be translated to English and was published by Zed Books in 1980. Her most recent novel is Zina: The Stolen Novel (2008). Nawal El Saadawi holds more than ten honorary doctorates from different universities in Europe and the USA. Her many prizes and awards include the Great Minds of the Twentieth Century Prize (2003), the North-South Prize from the Council of Europe, the Premi Internacional Catalunya (2004) , and most recently she was the 2007 recipient of The African Literature Association's Fonlon-Nichols Award. Her books are taught in universities across the world.