So begins Firdaus’s story, leading to her grimy Cairo prison cell, where she welcomes her death sentence as a relief from her pain and suffering. Born to a peasant family in the Egyptian countryside, Firdaus suffers a childhood of cruelty and neglect. Her passion for education is ignored by her family, and on leaving school she is forced to marry a much older man. Following her escapes from violent relationships, she meets Sharifia, who leads her into a life of prostitution, telling her that ‘a man does not know a woman’s value …the higher you price yourself the more he will realize what you are really worth.’ Desperate and alone, she takes drastic action.
Saadawi’s searing indictment of society’s brutal treatment of women continues to resonate today. This classic novel has been an inspiration to countless people across the world.”
Woman at Point Zero is a must read for anyone who is interested in the mistreatment of women around the world. Nawal El Sadaawi’s powerful story of the true life of an ordinary woman in the Middle East remains as relevant today as when it was first published twenty-five years ago.