WOMAN AT POINT ZERO by Nawal El Saadawi

Woman at Point Zero

Aw man… this is probably the best book I’ve read in a while. Maybe ever. It’s about 100 pages and takes place in the 1970’s in Egypt. Woman at Point Zero is written in the first person from the voice of a woman named Firdaus, who is facing the death penalty the next day. She’s telling her story to a writer who comes to see her in the prison.

Firdaus just goes through so much. It’s crazy. Sexual abuse, domestic enslavement, a horrifying marriage, running away, getting pimped, doing sex work on her own, working a regular job, having her heart broken, then back to sex work. Then she gets pimped again and when she tries to leave, the dude won’t let her so she kills him.

Everything is written very matter-of-fact-ly, but you can feel her pain. I almost don’t know what else to say. Something about the value of human life. Something about disassociation during sex. Something about misandry being valid. For some reason I’m reminded of Alex Haley’s Roots. I don’t think I’ll ever forget reading the first section of that novel with Kunta Kinte. He is such a powerful character. Then his child gets sold and the book follows her next. I was like wait nooooooooooooooo!

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