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 formative years in a distant Egyptian village -- the youth that produced the liberty fighter. She describes vividly the tradition of where and time into which she used to be born and in addition her intuitive -- and encouraging -- wish to go beyond the constraints compelled upon her due to her gender. From the very begin, escaping the grab of attainable marriage on the age of ten, we see how she moulded her personal artistic energy right into a weapon and the way using phrases turned an act of uprising opposed to injustice, major first to her profession as a physician and eventually to her iconic prestige as a novelist and political activist.
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Extra resources for A Daughter of Isis: The Early Life of Nawal El Saadawi: The Autobiography of Nawal El Saadawi
She would sweep me up in her arms, hold me to her breast, feed me. Her smell has never left my nostrils. It is as though it were the smell of my body. It belongs with the smell of fresh milk and hot bread and of steam rising from soup in the cold of winter. She lay sick in bed for two years, in the yellow brass bed with the four posts. The same bed in which she lay on her wedding night, and in which she gave birth to nine children: three boys and six girls. The first child was one year older than me, and they called him the eldest brother.
The sun comes through my window as I sit writing. Two years have gone by in this remote place almost ten thousand miles from Egypt, where Duke Forest is part of the university in this small village-like town called Durham in North Carolina, on the east coast of the Atlantic Ocean. I raise my head bent over the paper, put down my pen for a moment. Why am I writing this autobiography? Is it a longing for my past life? Is my life over, or is there something of it left? Are words the last resort when one wants to hold on to what has passed by in life before it is gone forever?
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. I try to bring them back, to haul them out of the clutches of the past. Those moments that try to escape, to disappear from my memory, or to hide from people’s eyes, moments of pain and despair, of weakness and decay, when I forgot the day, and the hour and the place where I would be, when I forgot my name and the names of my mother and father, and the village where I was born, moments of anger that took hold of me, so that I wanted to kill, moments when I would walk the streets not knowing where I was going, glimpse my face in the mirror, or the glass window of a shop, as I came to a sudden stop, struck with bewilderment at what seemed another woman’s face, dark, and pallid, and sad, The Cry in the Night 27 looking out into the world from brooding eyes, as black and as dark as the night.
A Daughter of Isis: The Early Life of Nawal El Saadawi: The Autobiography of Nawal El Saadawi by Nawal El Saadawi