Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Saqi Books, 2009
The Dramatic Literature of Nawal El Saadawi collects two plays by Nawal El Saadawi: God Resigns at the Summit Meeting and Isis.
In God Resigns at the Summit Meeting 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 play 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.
Isis is 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.
Forward by Adele Newson-Horst.
Nawal El Saadawi (1931-2021) was born in a small village outside Cairo. She is the author of over 50 novels and short stories. As well as being a world renowned novelist she was a trained psychiatrist and outspoken advocate for feminism, socialism and anti-imperialism.