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Woman at Point Zero Paperback – 16 Jun 2007

14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Zed Books; Second edition (16 Jun. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842778730
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842778739
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 91,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

'Nawal el Saadawi writes with directness and passion, transforming the systematic brutalisation of peasants and of women in to powerful allegory'
New York Times Book Review

'A dramatic symbolised version of female revolt against the norms of the Arab world'
The Guardian

'It is a remarkable book. Painful, compulsive reading. [..] it is written with such grace and skill as to be on a par with the finest literature of this or any era.
Scott Pack, The Friday Project '

'Scorching'
New Internationalist

A powerful indictment of the treatment of women in many parts of the Middle East'
Labour Herald



'Woman at Point Zero should begin the long march towards a realistic and sympathetic portrayal of Arab women'
Middle East International

'A tragic insight into a woman's oppression and downfall.' --Banipal

'A dramatic symbolised version of female revolt against the norms of the Arab world' --The Guardian

'It is a remarkable book. Painful, compulsive reading. I am sure some of you know all about it but for those who don't this short novel, or creative non-fiction as the author describes it, is the story of Fidraus, a prostitute about to be executed for murdering her pimp. Her life is recounted in a little over 100 pages but each one leaves an indelible mark. This is a tale of injustice, inequality and sheer bad luck to rival all those bloody misery memoirs that litter the supermarkets but it is written with such grace and skill as to be on a par with the finest literature of this or any era.' --Scott Pack, The Friday Project

About the Author

Nawal El Saadawi is a renowned Egyptian writer, novelist and activist. She has published over 40 books, which have been translated into over 30 languages.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Sept. 2000
Format: Paperback
Woman at Point Zero by N.el Saadawi is a book I highly recommend to anyone interested in the situation of women in the Arab world and more.
It is the tragic story of Firdaus who, standing on her own from the very beginning of her life, tries to find justice in a corrupt society. We witness her loveless childhood, marked by mental and physical abuse, follow her to secondary school and view her gliding into prostitution which, sadly enough, seems to be the only way to gain at least financial independence.
When reading and reflecting on Firdaus's life I was fascinated by her strong will and determination to find justice in a hypocrite society, despite from being without any support. Instead of having transformed her into an obedient victim of society, all her negative experiences have turned her into a rather aggressive character who is prepared to fight for her rights.
However, Woman at Point Zero is a book which should not only be read by women. Although at first glance mainly dealing with themes like physical abuse, prostitution and the attempt to gain some hold in life, themes of current importance such as corruption, hypocrisy and the exploitation of a minority can be discovered when looking at it more closely. Anyone who refuses to accept whatever life presents without trying to change it will be moved by the timeless importance of N.el Saadawi's eye-opening story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Book 1981 on 1 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
Read this book when you are feeling strong, as it is a very heavy read indeed. But it is an important one, as it must be one of the very first published works by a Muslim woman detailing the problems women faced at the time, and perhaps still face. It deals with difficult and prevalent issues such as incest, prositution, domestic abuse and corruption, as well as the brutality the women in the Arab world suffer at the hands of their fathers and husbands.

I feel like the troubles Firdaus goes through are somewhat exaggarated, as she does not come accross a single person who does not abuse her or hurt her in some way, and the pain and trauma are relentless. Every man is a predator, which I find hard to believe it actually true - Even in the Arab world I am sure there are men who do not beat their wives? But perhaps it was necessary to not tone the suffering down, the author had some important things to say and I am sure most women can identify with different elements of Firdaus' struggles.

There is a dreamy undercurrent in the brutal narration, where images such as eyes and drowning reappear throughout, creating a feeling of destiny and hinting at an elusive force stronger than men and the world they have built around themselves. I can't help feeling, though, that some of the poetic and atmospheric nature of this book was lost in the translation from Arabic to English, as it sometimes seems a little stilted and clumsy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By sah on 25 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback
It has been a long time that a book has capture me as much as this one. I couldn't put it down! Nawal is an amazingly courageous women if only there were more people like her in this world! Her voice is very powerful and the story becomes very real. Her hardship that she has endured can be felt in the way she writes. This is a book for everyone regardless of who you are, what you do and what type of books you normally read. I highly recommend this book! Enjoy
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MD on 5 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
This was the first book I read by Nawal El Saadawi, and I thought it was great. A strong character and captivating story line. It prompted me to read some of her other books.
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Format: Paperback
One of the '1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die' in the international edition, this lives up to that billing. A woman who will be executed for killing her pimp tells her life history. This somehow manages to be triumphant, rather than, as I would have expected, simply very sad and depressing. It's told as a story of how Firdaus comes gradually to understand her life and the life of Egyptian women more generally - and to take action - and welcome her death. The novel makes a very powerful impression.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really liked this book! :) and I recomend everyone to read it... The stories or scenarios we hear is horrible, you sit there and keep wishing for something good to happen. Buti in all the horrible incidents it also gives you so much, it is an eye opener!
When you first get into it you won't be able to put it down!
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Dec. 2002
Format: Paperback
Dr.El Saadawi manages to capture the reader's imagination and awaken their spirit with a novel that deals with issues that often go untold. Few novels have been so beautifully written in a manner so forthright and comprehensible.
I think the world could benefit from a healthy dose of the 'savage truth'..perhaps we wouldn't have half the problems we do now.
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