Magazine article New Internationalist

A Certain Woman

Magazine article New Internationalist

A Certain Woman

Article excerpt

A Certain Woman

by Hala El Badry

translated by Farouk Abdel Wahab

(Arabia Books, ISBN 9781906697075)

This novel, by Egyptian author Hala El Badry, first published in Arabic in 2001 and winner of the best novel prize at the.Cairo International Book Fair of that year, is a significant contribution to the growing canon of literature by Arabic women writing about their own experiences. A Certain Woman follows Nahid, a woman determined to expand the bounds of her life beyond her arid marriage to Mustafa and her job as an archaeologist, frustrated at every turn by a stifling bureaucracy. While maintaining the external niceties that society demands of her, Nahid embarks on a journey of discovery that will reveal to her not only the external norms and taboos, but also her own self-imposed limitations, doubts and forbidden areas. …

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