Nawal El Saadawi

I did not read these books. I inhaled the force of these books — in big and small gasps, and by the end of the third, I could not part with her. I do not think I can ever part with her. You would want to acquire her strength through osmosis!

She is my writer. Belonging to that rare breed who, even when writing about their lives, call attention to matters beyond themselves. Her words insist that you come out of her books knowing more about yourself, about the world.

Indeed, there are authors whose lives are as intense as their books. Nawal El Saadawi is one of them. Writer, activist, physician, and psychiatrist, her eventful life consists of losing her job as Director of Public Health Education due to political pressure, being imprisoned as a vocal critic of President Anwar Sadat and released only a month after his assassination, running for the Egyptian presidency in 2004, appearing on an Islamic fundamentalist death list, and being a potential Nobel laureate in literature until her death in March this year.

When it is Doris Lessing herself who says this is something we should all be reading, what is there left for me to say?

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