This translation is of the complete text of the Mahdi edition, the definitive Arabic edition of a fourteenth-century Syrian manuscript, which is the oldest surviving version of the tales and considered to be the most authentic.
'All the men I did get to know filled me with but one desire: to lift my hand and bring it smashing down on his face.'
So begins Firdaus's remarkable story of rebellion against a society founded on lies, hypocrisy, brutality and oppression. Born to a peasant family in the Egyptian countryside, Firdaus struggles through childhood, seeking compassion and knowledge in a world which gives her little of either. As she grows up and escapes the fetters of her childhood, each new relationship teaches her a bitter but liberating truth – that the only free people are those who want nothing, fear nothing and hope for nothing.
This classic novel has been an inspiration to countless people across the world. Saadawi's searing indictment of society's brutal treatment of women continues to resonate today.
But Bint Allah’s ambitions do not escape the attention of the Imam, who never feels secure no matter how well he protects himself. When the Imam falsely accuses Bint Allah of adultery and sentences her to death by stoning, he is not prepared for what happens next.
A postmodern fantasia, this powerful and poetic novel is a call to arms against those who use religion as a weapon against women.