A young Egyptian woman clashes with her traditional family when she chooses a career in medicine. Rather than submit to an arranged marriage and motherhood, she cuts her hair short and works fiercely to realise her dreams. At medical school, she begins to understand the mysteries of the human body. After years of denying her own desires, the doctor begins a series of love affairs that allow her to explore her sexuality – on her own terms.
Written in her twenties when Nawal El Saadawi was studying in Cairo, Memoirs of a Woman Doctor is the searing coming-of-age story of a woman striving for freedom in a male-dominated world. This classic feminist novel remains as thought-provoking today as when it was first published.
About the Author
Born in 1931, Nawal El Saadawi is a renowned Egyptian writer, novelist and activist. She has published over 40 books, which have been translated into over 30 languages. They include Memoirs of a Woman Doctor, Love in the Kingdom of Oil, Two Women in One and The Fall of the Imam, all published by Saqi Books.
About the Translator
Catherine Cobham is a lecturer in Arabic and Middle East Studies at the University of St Andrews. She has translated the works of Adonis, Nagīb Maḥfūz, Mahmoud Darwish, Hanan al-Shaykh and Fu’ād Al-Takarlī, amongst others.
‘The leading spokeswoman on the status of women in the Arab world.’
'At a time when nobody else was talking, [El Saadawi] spoke the unspeakable.'
Margaret Atwood, BBC Imagine
‘El Saadawi writes with directness and passion'
New York Times
'A poignant and brave writer'
‘El Saadawi has come to embody the trials of Arab feminism'
San Francisco Chronicle