Memoirs of a Woman Doctor
Translated by Catherine Cobham
About the Book
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
Nawal El Saadawi (1931–2021) was an internationally renowned feminist writer and activist from Egypt. She founded and became president of the Arab Women’s Solidarity Association and co-founded the Arab Association for Human Rights. Among her numerous roles in public office she served as Egypt’s National Director of Public Health and stood as a candidate in the 2004 Egyptian presidential elections. El Saadawi held honorary doctorates from the universities of York, Illinois at Chicago, St Andrews and Tromso, and her numerous awards include the Council of Europe North-South Prize, the Women of the Year Award (UK), Sean MacBride Peace Prize (Ireland), and the National Order of Merit (France). She wrote over fifty novels, short stories and non-fiction works which centre on the status of Arab women, which have been translated into more than thirty languages.
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.’ Guardian
'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' Marie Claire
‘El Saadawi has come to embody the trials of Arab feminism' San Francisco Chronicle