This is my current reading for my Women's Lit class. Boy does my professor know how to pick a great novel! [Thank Jesus! It's a skill apparently most professors don't have..]. As You can see I checked this book out in the library and even though I'm only about 70% finished, I will be ordering this just to have it in my collection!
Here's a summary via SparkNotes:
" In Woman at Point Zero, Nawal El Saadawi describes her experiences as a psychiatrist in Egypt, studying the psychological effects of prison on female prisoners. She states in her introduction that when she was conducting these studies, she had no idea that one day she would be imprisoned by the government. On one visit to Qanatir prison, Nawal meets a doctor who tells her that there is a prisoner there who is truly remarkable. She is awaiting the death penalty for killing a man, but the doctor cannot believe that this woman is capable of killing anyone. He wrote out a request for a pardon, but the condemned woman refused to sign it. Nawal desperately wants to meet with this woman, named Firdaus, but Firdaus keeps refusing to meet with her. Finally, the day before she is to be put to death, Firdaus agrees to meet with Nawal.
Nawal goes to Firdaus’s cell, and Firdaus commands her to sit on the ground. Firdaus begins to tell her life story. She was born into an extremely poor family in the countryside. Her father often beat her mother; sometimes he beat her as well. Firdaus used to play in the fields with other children. A boy named Mohammadain was her special playmate, and when they were young, they used to play “bride and bridegroom.” Firdaus got pleasure from her sexual experiments with Mohammadain. One day, her mother performed a clitoridectomy on her, and after that, Firdaus is no longer allowed to play with Mohammadain, nor does she ever feel sexual pleasure in the same way. Soon, Firdaus’s mother and father die, and Firdaus is sent to live with her uncle, a sometime scholar, who lives in Cairo.