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Woman at Point Zero (Anglais) Broché – 22 juin 2007

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

'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 '

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

Présentation de l'éditeur

'All the men I did get to know, every single man of them, has filled me with but one desire: to lift my hand and bring it smashing down on his face. But because I am a woman I have never had the courage to lift my hand. And because I am a prostitute, I hid my fear under layers of make-up'.

So begins Firdaus' 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 neglect. Her passion for education is ignored by her family, and on leaving school she is forced to marry a much older man. Following her escapes from violent relationships, she finally meets Sharifa who tells her that 'A man does not know a woman's value the higher you price yourself the more he will realise what you are really worth' and leads her into a life of prostitution. Desperate and alone, she takes drastic action.

Saadawi's searing indictment of society's brutal treatment of women continues to resonate today. This classic novel has been an inspiration to countless people across the world.

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Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 126 pages
  • Editeur : Zed Books Ltd; Édition : Reprint (22 juin 2007)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 1842778730
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842778739
  • Dimensions du produit: 12,8 x 0,8 x 19,6 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 89.603 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Needed this for the IBO diploma course. Excellent story. Thought-provoking for discussions. A very quick and easy read. Simple writing.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 34 commentaires
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Sad, beautiful novella 29 novembre 2011
Par Khayzuran - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
In light of the current events, which revealed to the oblivious west the extent of the corruption, unemployment and oppression in authoritarian Egypt which robbed people of their dignity, Nawal El Saadawi's work made the point clear in her novel of how this noxious social decay weighed down unbearably on the female half of the population. Through her original profession as a rural doctor, El Saadawi's Arab feminism philosophy began when she witnessed prostitution, honor killings, and sexual abuse - including the horrendous practice of female circumcision calculated to deprive women of ever experiencing sexual pleasure so to keep themselves 'pure' - stories that wound their way into her books. In this novel, the protagonist Firdaus, a poor village girl, was forced to choose between the 'proper' way to prostitute herself as a wife, condemned to a life of performing menial labors and services and getting beaten by whichever old man her relatives chose for her. Or make a living as an actual prostitute where she had a brief period of freedom from want and a choice on which clients to take, before she was terrorized once again by a local pimp who forced her to give him her profits or be sent to jail or killed by his circle of corruption extending into the police, the courts, and the government. What's especially sad is that Firdaus had a secondary school certificate that indicated some years of education of which she was especially proud of, with which she tried repeatedly to find a respectable job, only to be turned down, or to be tyrannized by superiors who used poor female employees as a cheap source of sexual favors and awarded them with meager pay raises or job security. The novella portrays these stark "choices" that constantly seek to undermine poor women's sense of dignity to the point of zero, and the grim consequences that await those who dare strike back.

El Saadawi herself is a interesting and polarizing figure; her outspokenness earned her jail time under Sadat and criticism of Islam and veiling got her death warrants from clerics, which led to her moving to the US for a period (and taught at Duke!). All for, as she emphasized in the novel, for telling the ugly truths that people refused to see. And of course in January, this frail old lady was in the middle of Tahrir Square, spotted by NY Times journalist Nicholas Kristof. While the political reforms may have been over, it will be an arduous task to uproot the entrenched culture of socioeconomic injustice and misogyny.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Tradition, respect and honor? 20 octobre 2011
Par Márcio Padilha - Publié sur Amazon.com
Expressing the powerlessness of women at cultural values such as tradition, respect and honor, Nawal El Saadawi is an Egyptian author who incorporates the Arabic perspective of themes such as clitoridectomy, arranged marriages, female sexual pleasure and the social role of female education into her writing. In "Woman at Point Zero," El Saadawi describes her experiences as a psychiatrist who, while studying the psychological effects of prison on female prisoners, meets Firdaus, a prisoner who is awaiting execution by hanging for killing her overbearing pimp. Firdaus is a peasant girl who, after a chain of events related to extreme poverty and sexual abuse, asserted her self-value by turning into prostitution after a failed abusive arranged marriage. A silent and mysterious character at first, Firdaus eventually opens up to El Saadawi about her life and the circumstances which led to her arrest, trial, sentencing and impending execution. Determined to pay the ultimate sacrifice in order to maintain her newly acquired perception of self-value, Firdaus refuses to request that her death sentence be commuted to life in prison. When the moment comes, Firdaus' execution leaves El Saadawi distraught, mad and ashamed at the society she also belongs to. Firdaus' story of extreme poverty and abuse describes the incongruence of a social construct where females are at an undeniable cultural disadvantage as to their social value and function.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Love It 8 mai 2008
Par Lady - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
As a student at Spelman College, I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Nawal Saadawi since she currently works there and she is nothing short of amazing, just as well as her work. Woman at Point Zero was a required reading for one of my courses, but as I began to read the book I was surprised at how interesting it was. I couldn't take my eyes off of it until I reached the last page. It's a short but excellent read. Firdaus' story and experiences are a perfect representation of women activism in a very unique way!!! I'd recommend this book to all women...
Great book! 23 mars 2013
Par Nicole3755 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
"I sometimes wonder if a person can be born twice" ....a wonderful quote from page 19 that I think summarizes the main character's life throughout the book. Woman at Point Zero by Nawal El Saadawi is a sad story about a young woman, Firdaus, who survives a tumultuous childhood, an arranged marriage, and struggles to make her own way in life. From living with an abusive, selfish father during her to her last days in prison, El Saadawi paints such a vivid picture of Fridaus' life from beginning to end. Through all this, Firdaus has lived two different lives in this book, the first as a girl growing up with her parents and then being raised by her Uncle after their death. Her second life begins when she leaves her Uncle's house to save herself from an arranged marriage and yet returns realizing she is not prepared to handle life on her own.

I think it's really important to begin this book by reading the Author's Preface to get a good understanding of this stories background. The most interesting part for me is the fact that it is based on El Saadawi's actual experience with a convicted criminal in a women's prison in Egypt. It makes me feel that much more connected to the story knowing that the details I am reading are pulled from someone's life. My one complaint is that in a novel of only 114 pages, there were times that I felt the progression of the story stalled too long and got lost in unnecessary details in the beginning. I didn't see the importance of some of her details from her school days and felt she should have spent more time discussing her family or future relationships. However, remembering that this is based on a true story, helped to keep me engaged.

To me, the author's style of writing is reminiscent of poetry which is beautiful at times and yet frustrating in the way that she will allude to certain childhood memories, feelings or thoughts but never outright say what she is thinking or feeling. The writer's ambiguity at certain points was frustrating and left me with too many questions. I felt like this story could have been more developed and it left me wanting to know more about the main character and how she felt about each situation.

What I found interesting was how often I noticed a repetitive tone throughout the story. Whether it's her describing her feeling of pleasure and pain at the same time, the familiar scenes of Firdaus listening to the creaking bed, or her running away with just a dress and a handbag of belongings. It's like Ground Hog Day with these events repeating over and over...Firdaus is abused, finds kindness, discovers her new protector is the same as all the others and then runs away at her first chance...repeat...

This story was just so depressing for me...I felt as if I was going through each heart wrenching experience with her and wanted her to have any kind of success, happiness, or end to her constant struggle. Unfortunately, it came to a point that after everything she had been through, death was the only way for her to get peace. What's great about this story is El Saadawi's portrayal of the harsh reality of some Muslim women in Egypt. Just the idea that Firdaus can be beaten by her husband immediately walk the streets of Cairo, swollen and bloody, and not a single person care or take note is quite remarkable. I think that by presenting this novel the way the author did, with Firdaus telling her story as if purging her soul before death, causes her story to have more impact. I would absolutely recommend this book and wish the story lasted longer. I feel that I became so attached to Firdaus and couldn't stop rooting for her in the end.
The plight of women in modern Egypt 7 avril 2014
Par Steven Davis - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Woman at Point Zero, a fact-based novel, is a stark and unforgiving look at the role of Women in modern Egyptian society and elsewhere. It is the life story of Firdaus, a Cairo prostitute, as told in the hours before her execution for murder.

From her origins in rural poverty, to her schooling, her arranged marriage, her employment, and her years as a streetwalker, Firdaus is constantly reminded that women count for very little in her world. They are, at best, a commodity to be bought and sold, raped and abused at will The most independent woman in the world, she ultimately concludes, is the prostitute because she can at least name her own price. Even the prostitute, however, is not entirely free, and eventually the only power she has left is the power to kill.

Though the narrator does not fail to implicate Islamic tradition, she appears to place most of the blame for the oppression of women on political leaders, as she spits at their photographs in the newspapers. There is, however, no such thing as a "good" man in the entire novel. Father, uncle, husband, boss, client, co-worker, policeman, pimp--to all of them she is either a sexual object or a belonging with no rights or dignity of her own.

Saadawi's prose is blunt, but her writing has a beautiful poetic cadence, with a structure and a sense of absolute certitude that makes it read like a religious scripture. Woman at Point Zero is a strident call for attention and action, but obviously not a balanced or comprehensive portrayal of modern Egyptian life.
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