Bahiah Shaheen, an eighteen-year-old medical student and the daughter of a prominent Egyptian public official, finds the male students in her class coarse and alien. Her father, too, seems to belong to a race apart. Frustrated by her hardworking, well-behaved, middle-class public persona, her meeting with a stranger at a gallery one day proves to be the beginning of her road to self-discovery and the start of her realisation that fulfilment in life is indeed possible.
'These two women live, to some degree, in every thinking woman.' -New York Times Book Review
'At a time when nobody else was talking, [El Saadawi] spoke the unspeakable.' -Margaret Atwood, BBC Imagine
'The leading spokeswoman on the status of women in the Arab world' -The Guardian
'El Saadawi writes with directness and passion' -New York Times
'A poignant and brave writer' -Marie Claire
'El Saadawi has come to embody the trials of Arab feminism' -San Francisco Chronicle
About the Author
Nawal El Saadawi (1931-2021) was an internationally renowned feminist writer and activist from Egypt. She founded and became president of the Arab Women’s Solidarity Association and co-founded the Arab Association for Human Rights. Among her numerous roles in public office she served as Egypt’s National Director of Public Health and stood as a candidate in the 2004 Egyptian presidential elections. El Saadawi held honorary doctorates from the universities of York, Illinois at Chicago, St Andrews and Tromso, and her numerous awards include the Council of Europe North-South Prize, the Women of the Year Award (UK), Sean MacBride Peace Prize (Ireland), and the National Order of Merit (France). She wrote over fifty novels, short stories and non-fiction works which centre on the status of Arab women, which have been translated into more than thirty languages.