Synopses & Reviews
"More than any other woman, Nawal El Saadawi has come has come to embody the trials of Arab feminism."San Francisco Chronicle
"The leading spokeswoman on the status of women in the Arab World."Guardian
"Saadawi writes with directness and passion."The New York Times
Bodour, a distinguished literary critic and university professor, carries with her a dark secret. As a young university student, she fell in love with a political activist and gave birth to an illegitimate daughter, Zeina, whom she abandoned on the streets of Cairo.
Zeina grows up to become one of Egypt's most beloved entertainers, despite being deprived of a name and a home. In contrast, Bodour remains trapped in a loveless marriage, pining for her daughter. In an attempt to find solace she turns to literature, writing a fictionalized account of her life. But when the novel goes missing, Bodour is forced on a journey of self discovery, reliving and reshaping her past and her future.
Will Bodour ever discover who stole the novel? Is there any hope of her being reunited with Zeina?
Nawal El Saadawi is an internationally renowned Egyptian writer, feminist, and psychiatrist. Her works have been translated into more than thirty languages.
"The latest from El Saadawi (Woman at Point Zero), seamlessly translated by Nowaira, will haunt readers with its beautiful prose and harsh depiction of women's lives in Cairo. Flowing from present into past, reality into dreams, and between the stories of mother and daughters, El Saadwai explores the unequal roles of women and men in Egyptian society. Successful literary critic Boudour is writing a novel about circumstances that made her abandon an infant, Zeina, when she was a young college student. Later, Boudour married and raised another daughter, Mageeda, a successful writer who feels curiosity and jealousy toward Zeina, now a musical phenomenon. As Boudour tries to rewrite her life and recover her stolen novel, men repeatedly betray her and the other female characters; El Saadawi quotes at length from the Qur'an to illustrate the entrenched nature of this behavior. The shifting time line will keep readers guessing as to what happens next, and what is real versus imagined. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
An engaging novel about Egyptian society, and, at its heart, the broken relationship between mother and illegitimate daughter.
A poignant and brave writer Marie Claire
Nawal El Saadawi is a formidable force in the international world of literature. Philip Womack, New Humanist
Bodour, a distinguished literary critic, carries with her a dark secret. As a young university student, she fell in love with a political activist and gave birth to an illegitimate daughter, Zeina, whom she abandoned on the streets of Cairo.
Zeina grows up to become one of Egypts most beloved entertainers, despite being deprived of a family name and a home. Bodour in turn remains trapped in a loveless marriage, pining for her daughter and lost love. In an attempt to find solace, she writes a fictionalised account of her life, which then mysteriously gets stolen.
Set against the backdrop of revolution in Cairo, Zeina is a tale about regret, loss and the courage it takes for a mother to face up to the mistakes of her past.
About the Author
Nawal El Saadawi: Nawal El Saadawi is an internationally renowned Egyptian writer, feminist and psychiatrist. Her works have been translated into more than 30 languages.
Amira Nowaira: Amira Nowaira is currently Professor of English Literature at Alexandria University, Egypt, She has published extensively in various fields including English, Arabic and comparative literature, Arab womens writing and translation. She is a co-editor of Women Writing Africa: The Northern Region (The Feminist Press February 2009).