Nawal El Saadawi entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Contemporary Egyptian feminist writer Nawal El Saadawi has written hard-hitting polemic on social and political topics (unjust legal systems, interrogation, censorship, misuse of political power) and especially women's topics—clitoridectomy, prostitution, forced marriage, rape, honour killing, the hijab, and other burning issues for Islamic women, for whom, says the Feminist Companion, she is "[t]he outstanding voice". The same source notes that her speeches combine "psychiatric acuity, the authority of personal experience, and political courage." Bibliographic Citation link. She has published a number of novels and short stories, two volumes of autobiography, and untranslated plays and travel writing: about fifty books, translated into more than thirty languages. Bibliographic Citation link. She began publishing her prolific output in Arabic; not all of her works have reached English, and for years a long time-lag typically intervened before they were translated. This makes for a complicated and confusing bibliography. Her work has now become sought-after by publishers in the English-speaking world
27 October 1931 NES, psychiatrist, feminist activist, novelist, and journalist, was born in the small village of Kafr Tahla in Egypt, the second-born and the first girl among nine sisters and brothers. Bibliographic Citation link.
1969 NES published in Cairo with the firm of El Shaab her most controversial book yet. It has an Arabic title which translates as "Women and Sex": a scientific investigation of women's relation to traditional Arab society. Bibliographic Citation link.
February 1980 NES's feminist manifesto The Hidden Face of Eve: Women in the Arab World, was published in English by Zed Press of London, translated and edited by her husband, Sherif Hetata. Bibliographic Citation link.
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