Daughter of Isis, A

by Nawal El Saadawi

This is the first volume of the autobiography of Nawal El Saadawi, giving an emotionally shattering, but wonderfully lyrical, portrait of her childhood in a remote Egyptian village — the childhood that produced the freedom fighter. She describes vividly the culture of the place and time into which she was born and also her intuitive — and inspiring — desire to transcend the restrictions forced upon her because of her gender. From the very start, escaping the grasp of possible marriage at the age of ten, we see how she moulded her own creative power into a weapon and how the use of words became an act of rebellion against injustice, leading first to her career as a medical doctor and ultimately to her iconic status as a novelist and political activist.