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Woman at Point Zero

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  7,752 ratings  ·  1,065 reviews
"However, every single man I did get to know filled me with but one desire: to lift my hand and bring it smashing down on his face."

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
Paperback, Second Edition, 114 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by Zed Books (first published 1975)
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Nahret She is the doctor who regularly goes to see patients at the women's prison where Firdaus is held. She becomes the audience for Firdaus to tell her…moreShe is the doctor who regularly goes to see patients at the women's prison where Firdaus is held. She becomes the audience for Firdaus to tell her story to. (less)
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Feb 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“A new world was opening up in front of my eyes, a world which for me had not existed before. Maybe it had always been there, always existed, but I had never seen it, never realized it had been there all the time. How was it that I had been blind to its existence all these years?”- Nawal El Saadawi, Woman at Point Zero

I was told by a friend that the German title for this book is translated as “I Spit on You,” and it makes a lot of sense after you read the book, because that will probably be y
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Revisiting my Nobels always also includes guessing and hoping for a favourite to receive this year's award. Nawal El-Saadawi has been on my wish list for the Nobel Prize in Literature for many, many years, ever since she dragged me into the scary universe of Two Women in One, showing the double life of women in Egypt, conforming to rules set by men while letting their creativity and independence gain power within their own minds.

The Swedish Academy being what it is, it would be completely unhear
Jun 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised when I saw the rating for Woman at Point Zero . To me, it was a solid five-star book. When I scrolled through the reviews, I noticed many, many five star and four star reviews, but there was a pervasive theme of how she seemed unrelatable and fake. I completely disagree.

First of all, Woman at Point Zero is a short read, 114 pages at the most. In three chapters, Firdaus' life story is framed by the author's own narrative, which develops from vaguely superior and curious to shoc
Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was hoping that Saadawi would win the Nobel Prize this time round; sadly it wasn’t to be. However I suspect she was not surprised, as she says;
“I am still ignored by big literary powers in the world, because I write in Arabic, and also because I am critical of the colonial, capitalist, racist, patriarchal mind set of the super-powers.”
However she is much more than just a novelist/writer; she originally trained as a doctor, then went into politics (Public Health). She lost her job because of p
Shayma Nofal
Mar 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
افضل هذا النوع من الاعمال الادبيه الذى يعكس واقع ويخدم بشكل مباشر قضيه انسانيه حاملا رساله واضحه.. انها ليست مجرد روايه مأساويه انتهت بجريمه او تفاصيل جريئه من اجل التسليه وجذب القراء كما يظن القارئ الساذج، انها تتناول بصدق واقع المرأه العربيه ووضعها مقارنه بوضع الرجل فى مجتمع مزدوج سياساته العامه هى الظلم والقهر.. مجتمع السلطه فيه تمنح للاسوأ والاكثر جشعا وفسادا ومجونا وقد اثبت الذكر –والتاريخ خير شاهد- انه الجنس الانسب والاكثر جداره لمهام كهذه!! .. اما بالنسبه للمرأه فى مجتمعنا فهى ببساطه لن ت ...more
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kütüphanem
Tokat gibi çarpıyor insanın suratına.
Sinem A.
Jul 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yazarın Mısır'da Kanatır cevaevinde görüştüğü idam mahkumu bir kadının hikayesi. Karar vermek zor; insan olarak mı yoksa kadın olarak mı daha çok etkilendim?
Gerçekliğine inanmak istemeyeceğimiz kadar gerçek maalesef.
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've loved this slim novel since I read it for the first time in an undergrad literature class. It's beautifully written, addictive as heck and features a harrowing main character. It's simply written and that gives room for the complex narrative (this my favorite type of writing). This book was an enormous influence on my own novel Who Fears Death. And rereading it really reminded me why.
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Neval El Seddavi'nin biyografik romanı.. İdam mahkumu Firdevs'in yaşam öyküsünü, onun dilinden duru bir şekilde anlatıyor. Firdevs, Mısırlı bir fahişe..

Kitabı okurken kölelik, esaret, korku, güç, gerçek kavramlarını bir daha düşünmenize sebep oluyor.. Bi' çırpıda bitip, vurucu ve farklı bir lezzet bırakıyor..

"..gerçeği hiç zorluk çekmeden anlatıyorum. Çünkü gerçek kolay ve yalındır. Bu yalınlığın içinde de vahşi bir güç yatar. Yaşamın vahşi, ilkel gerçeklerine ancak yıllar süren bir savaşımın so
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
O kadar çarpıcı bir kitaptı ki... Tokat gibiydi, mutlaka okuyun!
Sep 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ne diyeceğini bilmediği anlar, genelde söyleyecek çok şeyi olduğu anlar oluyor insanın. Şu kadarını diyeyim ki nice devrimci metinden, romandan, söylevden daha devrimci, çatır çatır bir hikaye Firdevs'in hikayesi. Bu fahişenin hikayesini okuyun lütfen. Okuyun ve söylediklerine gücünüz ve dürüstlüğünüz yetiyorsa cevap verin.
Amal Bedhyefi
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you live in an Arab Muslim country , you would have probably heard of Nawel Saadaoui once in your lifetime.
I know I have.
But it took me a while until I decided to pick up one of her books and it is mainly thanks to Ilham , a dear friend of mine , who recommended it to me.
I opened the first pages , started reading and next thing i know , there are no pages left for me to read.
It's heartbreaking , deeply uncomfortable and mournful.
Ferdaous's story is definitely one of those stories that need t
This review could probably just read:

Men suck.

But then that wouldn't cover the fact that sometimes women do too. But:

Men suck (and sometimes women as well)

doesn't have the same punchiness.

Really though, in this story by Nawal El-Saadawi men do suck. Lots. Whether you are a poor uneducated brute or a more educated sophisticated man; whether you are a pimp or a prince, a near relation or a policeman, if you are a man it is a given that you are going to seriously suck at some point. Sometimes it w
أميرة هاني
Jan 23, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gender
من الطرائف في مجتمعاتنا العربية أنه بدلا من مناقشة مشاكلنا والبحث عن أسبابها وكيفية حلها، يتم الاستخفاف بمثيري المشاكل وإسكاتهم تجنبا لبذل الجهد ووجع الدماغ. المثال الكلاسيكي لذلك هو قضية المرأة. حالهاعندنا -مقارنة بدول العالم الأول والثالث- متردي دون شك، ولا يجادل في ذلك عاقل. مؤشرات الفجوة مخزية بين الجنسين في الحصول على الخدمات التعليمية والصحية والتمكين الاقتصادي والسياسي في منطقتنا الحبيبة التي تُعرف في علم الاجتماع بمنطقة الحزام الأبوي. Patriarchal Belt
فترتيب مصر مثلا هذا العام في مؤشر الف
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translated
Review originally posted on A Skeptical Reader.

Woman at Point Zero follows the life of Firdaus, a woman awaiting execution, from her youth to her present condition. It’s a novel that plunges deep into the pit of patriarchy, abuse of power, failures of feminism, and the sex workers industry.

El-Saawadi’s narration is clever and precise. At times she infuses a formal mechanism to her poetic form that is both beautiful and horrific to read. It was frustrating that while she can be quite vivid in som
Ben De Hala Arıyorum
Firdevs... Hiç de yabancı değilsin.

İçerisinde çok iyi tespit edilmiş toplum eleştirileri bulunan bu kitabı okurken Cem Keçe hocamın sözleri devamlı aklımda uçuştu.

"Bu topraklarda çok fazla kız çocuğu var çok fazla anne var. Fakat nereyse yok denilecek kadar çok az kadın var. Toplumun yarısı kadınlardan, diğer yarısını da kadınların yetiştirdikleri erkeklerden oluşmakta. Yani anlayacağınız kadın demek toplum demektir. Eğer kadın sağlıksızsa, eğitimsizse, bilinçsizse toplum da sağlıksız, eğitimsiz

terlalu pahit untuk ditelan

Kurang lebih sepuluh tahun yang lalu Uda Ari, tetangga kos di pogung 37a, menyarankan saya untuk membaca buku ini.
Katanya, akan banyak pelajaran dalam menjadi seorang wanita yang sesungguhnya dari buku ini.
Sangat cocok untuk saya yang ketika itu sangat tidak ingin merasa kalah dari siapa pun, terutama lelaki.

"Trus, maksudnya titik nol di judulnya itu apa, Da?"
"Baca dulu makanya, Diet. Nanti pasti ngerti deh maksudnya apa."

Kurang lebih sepuluh tahun setelahnya, saya mem
In the early 1970s, Nawal El Saadawi lost her job as the Director of Health Education and Editor-in-Chief of Health magazine because she did something really horrible: She wrote a book about women and sex.


She turned to the research of neuroses in Egyptian women which led her to meet a doctor at an Egyptian prison who would talk to her about his experiences and some of the inmates. Through this friendship with the doctor, she met Firdaus, a woman imprisoned for killing a man. Firdaus was awa
My virtue, like the virtue of all those who are poor, could never be considered a quality, or an asset, but rather looked upon as a kind of stupidity, or simple-mindedness, to be despised even more than depravity or vice.
Nearly three years between adding this and reading this was long enough to shift from being myopically proud of my "cultivated" tastes to becoming suspicious of why I'd want this author in particular to win the Nobel Prize for Lit without having even read them. There's nothing
Arabic & English :

احترت في تقييم الرواية ما بين نجمتين و ثلاث !
أسلوب الكاتبة بوجه عام ممل و به كثير من التكرار مما جعل قراءة الرواية في جلسة واحد عسيراً بالرغم من صغر حجمها!
تناقش الرواية أشكال قهرالرجل للمرأة جسدياً و نفسياً ، و ذلك من خلال شخصية واحدة محورية (فردوس) ،التي نشأت و مضت حياتها متخبطة بين شخصيات مشوهة .. مريضة ومزدوجة المعايير في كل ما يخص العلاقات الانسانية على كل مستواياتها ، لتكون فردوس في النهاية شخصية مريضة مثيرة للشفقة ، يتعاطف معها القارئ ،مع وحدتها و قهرها ،آلامها و انصا
Amrane Mickpop
بعد اطالعك على سيرة نوال السعدوي .. ستلاحظ
!فرق جد رهيب بين حياة هذه العالمة المتعددة المواهب والتخصصات.. وشخصيات روايتها
.تحديداً .. فيما يخص طفولتها وشبابها فيما بعد
..لا داعي للسؤال .. فالقارئ سيكتشف من خلال هذه الرواية أن السيدة نوال كانت تحاول نقل الحركة النسوية الى العالم العربي عن طريق الأدب
.أدب يصور معانات المرأة العربية بسبب النظام الاجتماعي المفروض عليها
التحليل النفسي لما يميز شخصية فردوس في الرواية، (الرغبة في السيطرة، كره الرجل والمرأة الضعيفة والقتل) والذي كان نتيجة لطفولتها القاسية ف
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bu kitap için yorum yapmak beni zorluyor. Bunca şeyi gerçekten yaşamış bir kadın için ben ne diyebilirim ki? Gerçekten kadın olmak zor. Özellikle Mısır’da daha da zor bence. Daha çocukluğunda babasının ezmesi ve amcasının tacizleriyle başlayan hayatı hiç gün yüzğne çıkmayan bir kadın. Gerçekten yüreğim parçalandı okurken ve neredeyse kitabın yarısının altını çizdim. Şu an ben ne desem boş. Mutlaka alınıp okunması gereken bir kitap.
Claire McAlpine
Nawal El Saadawi is an internationally renowned writer, novelist and fighter for woman's rights, who was born in a village outside Cairo, Egypt. When she was practicing as a psychiatrist in the 1970's she had the opportunity while conducting research into the neurosis of Egyyptian women, to meet with a woman who had been imprisoned for killing a man, a woman who was to be executed by hanging. The woman had refused to speak to anyone until that point, had also refused to sign an appeal to the Pre ...more
Jim Fonseca
Oct 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This translation by an Egyptian female author gives us a traumatic picture of how a young woman is brutalized physically and mentally by just about every man, relative or stranger, that she runs into. She runs away from a brutal husband and becomes a prostitute to survive. At first she turns cheap tricks but later she learns to turn men down, becoming more exclusive and expensive, raising the level of her clientele. She works her way up to being a prostitute who caters to the wealthy political a ...more
Berfin Kanat
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Bütün kadınlar, yalanların, dolanların kurbanıydı. Erkekler kadınları aldatır, aldandıkları için de onları cezalandırır; aşağılar, bu kadar düştükleri için cezalandırır; evlenmeye zorlar, sonra da ömür boyu hizmetçiliğe, küfürlere ya da dayağa mahkûm ederlerdi. En az aldatılan kadının fahişe olduğunu kavramıştım artık. Evliliğin kadınların en zalim şekilde acı çekmesine dayalı bir sistem olduğunu anlamıştım."
Başından kalkamadan okuduğum nadir kitaplardan biri. Ne desem bilmiyorum. Okuyun, mutla
Sep 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
اكتر من رائعة شخصية فردوس تجبر كل من يقرأ هذة الرواية ان ينحنى لها احتراما هى ليس مومس هى ببساطة ضحية مجتمع قذر مليىء بالوسخات
Cavanşir Gadimov
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
İdam edilen Mısırlı bir fahişenin öyküsünü anlatıyor yazar. Çok acıklı, çok vahim ve bence çok korkunç olaylar. Tabii bir de gerçek bir olayı anlatıyor.
Kitapla ilgili incelemem:
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
My first YA book for young girls, and had helped girls finish college and avoid early marriages and teen pregnancies.

"Firdaus" is its alternative title because it is based on a real character by that name, an Egyptian woman who was imprisoned and executed in 1974. She had suffered physical and emotional abuse from all the men in her life: from her own father, her husband, her customers as a prostitute and her last tormentor, the pimp whom she killed and for which crime she lost her life. The pro
Jan 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies, fiction
This novel (described as 'creative non-fiction' in the Foreword) probably describes the grievous and appalling conditions facing millions of women and children around the world today. The subject matter and message are important, but as a novel, it didn't hit the right spot for me.

There are quite a few instances where entire passages are repeated or substantially reproduced with only some minor word changes. Struck with a sense of deja vu, at first I thought I had somehow accidentally flipped to
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"I have triumphed over both life and death because I no longer desire to live, nor do I any longer fear death. I want nothing. I hope for nothing. Therefore I am free. For during life it is our wants, our hopes, our fears that enslave us. The freedom I enjoy fills them (the patriarchy) with anger."
I could not help but make a strong connection between the main character Firdous and Camus's philosophical approach to The Myth of Sisyphus. Firdous truly is, as El Saadawi concludes, "more courageou
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Nawal El Saadawi (Arabic: نوال السعداوي) was born in 1931, in a small village outside Cairo. Unusually, she and her brothers and sisters were educated together, and she graduated from the University of Cairo Medical School in 1955, specializing in psychiatry. For two years, she practiced as a medical doctor, both at the university and in her native Tahla.

From 1963 until 1972, Saadawi worked as Dir
“Life is very hard. The only people who really live are those who are harder than life itself.” 1713 likes
“They said, “You are a savage and dangerous woman.”
I am speaking the truth. And the truth is savage and dangerous.”
More quotes…