Nawal El Saadawi’s most recent play, God Resigns at the Summit Meeting, created an uproar in her native Egypt. On the basis of the title alone, officials declared the work heretical and charged El Saadawi with insulting the ‘Almighty God’, not just Islam. Her prosecutors requested that all her books be destroyed, that she be arrested on return to Egypt and her Eygptian nationality be revoked.
In the play, the prophets and great women gather for a meeting with God. Satan arrives to tender his resignation but neither Jesus, nor Mohammad, nor Moses are willing to replace him. Finally, God himself resigns.
The second play in this collection is Isis, a critique of the discriminatory rules that control women, the daughters of Isis.
Both God Resigns and Isis incorporate key themes in El Saadawi’s work: that all religions are inimical to women and the poor, that the oppression of women is reprehensible and not uniquely characteristic of the Middle East or the ‘Third World’, and that free speech is fundamental to any society.
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.
'El Saadawi writes with directness and passion.'
New York Times Book Review
'More than any other woman, El Saadawi has come to embody the trials of Arab feminism.'
San Francisco Chronicle