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Your habits and routines are making it difficult for you to manage your time. The good news is, you're in control. Christmas is a magical time… and a hard time to keep secrets. Six months ago, sexy alpha wolf Lucas rescued Mia and claimed her. In the dragon-haunted land of Ruun, Rowen Locke has been many things: All he ever wanted was to become a Knight of Crane and wield a kingsteel sword against horrors he's known since childhood.

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From the snowbound Highlands to candlelit ballro. Historians Cameron Thorne and Amanda Spencer-Gunn discover a 14th-century journal which confirms a long-rumored historical heresy: The medieval Church outlawed the Knights Templar because the warrior monks were secretly worshiping the ancient Goddess. The journal also sucks Cam and Amanda into the o. Can one kiss from an angel save h.

Single Chicas is a collection of stories about modern Latinas being in, out, and around the zany hurdles of relationships. One woman receives strange calls from a lonely soul, another seeks advice on how to love herself, and another wakes up in a parallel universe to a man she's never met. Eight lives forever changed. In the mids, at an elite college in the quaint town of Barrie Hill, Connecticut, a group of literary-minded students met regularly off-campus at the Vanessa Grand Hotel. A twisted killer is at large.

Pining for some great British humor? Then you're barking up the right tree. Book 4 in the '. Miist, with its humor, mystery and magic, is the new adventure thrilling fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson! As a scavenger, Root's odds of surviving the streets of Shade Howl are dwindling. That is, until a mysterious woman gifts her a magic Ember Stamp and with it, the adventure of a lifetime! Luke never expects to end up spending Christmas at the Miller farm.

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When a jaguar shifter drops in out of nowhere and asks me for help in tracking down an ancient blood-magic statuette, I say no thank you. I learned a long time ago the key to survival is keeping a low profile. But it's hard to ignore an a.

Books by Sally Mays (Author of Ruin Of Tentacles (Reluctant Tentacle Erotica))

Discover a formula for personal growth and establish habits for success. Learn to become the person that you desire. Jael Furyck was born to fight. Enter a world of kingdoms and warriors, dreamers and dark magic. Follow an unstoppable warrior as she claws her way to power and uncovers the destiny that awaits her. Following the same routine, day in and day out, Charlie Winters was about to give up on getting the break she deserved.

Things begin to look up when her brother Nick suggested she to come to New York to work at his landscaping company. Moving from the small town of Cedar Grove to the big Apple was e. When Selena is kidnapped and forced into a televised death game, can she resist the brooding vampire who longs to save her? Culinary arts student, Hope Mastriano, is down on her luck. Since getting dumped seven months ago, head chef Vinnie DiFrancesco has been in a frustrating holding. In this highly charged legal thriller, Thaddeus Murfee's estranged sister is charged with murder and Thaddeus must defend.

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It started with my bladder. I didn't mean to witness a shady deal in the restroom hallway.


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I didn't think twice when I called the cops. And I certainly didn't know who the clu. When a tyrant plunges the kingdom into chaos, three fourteen-year-old apprentice warlocks must learn to work together if they are to survive. A tale of magic, ambition, betrayal. Life in deep space could be a drag sometimes, but Daisy supposed things could have been worse. They were still alive, after all, which was always a plus in her book. Now if only she could figure out who, or what, was endangering her return home, things would be just peachy.

It had been one hell o. You were born for more and you know it! You are not stuck in your current situation. Have you dreamed for more in life but feel stuck? Has fear been holding you back from achieving your full potential? In Catalyst, Josh McLean draws his own personal experience from overcoming a brain injury resul. A new serial killer always kills on Friday and next morning sends a body part and note saying where to find the body to Atlanta Major Crimes division.

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Inspector Cullot and his world-famous Murder Squad are engaged in a race against time to find the murderers of three wealthy men, gruesomely dispatched in three of the poshest apartments in London. Amongst the array of suspects are a collection of gorgeous women, and men, from across Europe.

A molecular biologist by profession, Dr. Nathan Cribbs worked for a food conglomerate where he was responsible for genetically engineering crops, but here he was now, dumped in a remote forest, along with his sister, both left for dead Due to a fortunate series of events, he managed to survive, resu. An untrained spy and a rebel faction. A mysterious scarlet-haired jazz singer. Dangerous secrets guarded by a devious killer. What could possibly go wrong? Demons have overrun sweet home Chicago.

Lucien Lesauvage, our last potential savoir, would rather stay locked up in Supermax. Selected to head one of the most important operations of her career, the unexpected happens when Jagged Edge S. Harlow—A wedding, a one-night stand, and no happily-ever-after. Max—Harlow tests every limit I have. Once I have a taste, no one else will do. Take a break from the boring, everyday news cycle with Odd Stew: The Weird Side of the News. Inside you'll find real news stories about some of the world's most incompetent criminals, strange encounters with wildlife, creative and interesting people, hard to believe lawsuits, government waste, the l.

Few things are more exciting and, frankly, unnerving than your first day of high school. Except, maybe, coming out to your friends when they already kinda knew you were gay. A Dream Vision, a terrifying destiny, a journey of a lifetime—the future of an entire Peoples may rest on the shoulders of one young boy. Evolved Publishing presents the first book in the extraordinary, award-winning "Shining Light's Saga" series.

Take an authentic journey into a culture lost t. An ancient darkness haunts the realm of Paltria. Apprentice wizard Paddren is plagued by visions of a city on the brink of war. When his master dies in mysterious circumstances, the Royal Order of Wizards refuses to investigate. Helped by his childhood friend, the tracker Varnia, and her love. Celebrate Enough's first birthday with us throughout the month of November.

Fall in love with the ladies of the Iron Orchids, stories of Iron-Willed women and the men who try and tame them. For Ariel Beaumont there were some things in life that were inevitable. Like death, taxes, and lying, cheat. Queer sci-fi with a mind-bending twist. His senior year in high school couldn't be more boring for overachieving science nerd Taylor Young until Brad, a mysterious but hot new character, starts walking the school halls. Ignoring the rumors about his mental state and his murky past, Taylor falls f. Irish castles, hot guardians, and magical powers.

Sheridan, Jenny, and Ava are strangers until they each receive a letter claiming they are to inherit an Irish castle from a biological uncle they never knew existed. Garnering hope to see leprechauns and pots of gold at the end of rainbows,. Is he a threat to the power given to her by the gods — or a threat to her heart?

Not only does she. Coming out is hard enough on its own, but when you have a crush on your best buddy, things get really complicated. Best friends since kindergarten, best friends forever. That was the plan. High school sophomores Tim and Tom know everything there is to know about each other … or at least they sh. Award Winning Author of the Shattered Innocence Trilogy When a person is at the end of their rope, the only thing left to do is survive. That is exactly what Emma Atwood had been doing for most of her life.

Finally getting a break, she gets hired as a maid at a ritzy hotel, but finds that it is s. Some secrets are better off lost. Gage Finley is used to diving the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean, but not while being hunted by a ruthless terrorist organization. An ordinary girl, thrown into extraordinary - and deadly - new worlds After the death of her father, Blue Faust is struggling. When she and her mother move to a new city yet again, Blue is determined to begin living her life once more. She even makes a list. Everything starts to come togeth.

Battered physically and psychologically in the wake of a horrific car accident, Erika Wernick takes a leave from her post as a reporter at the Seattle Times to return home to Big Bear Lake to recover. Intent on nothing more than holing up in the mountains to let herself mend, she is begrudgingly pul. Fifty years ago, a group of college friends dabbled in the occult and released a malign presence on the world.

Now, on his deathbed, the last of the students enlists the aid of three newcomers to banish the thing they summoned. Hampered by the old man's greedy son, the wizened director of the uni. He plans trips six months in ad. Bhric Tarakesh is drowning at the bottom of a scotch-filled barrel. One bad decision after another has led him to alcoholism, bar fights, alienation of his family, and, the cherry topper of his shit sundae, impregnating a female he abhors. As he spirals out of control, a cataclysmic event thrusts hi.

Described as "utterly engrossing" by one reviewer, this confident roller-coaster debut novel sees would-be author Mike self-publishing what he thinks is fiction, then facing a deluge of unintended consequences. Embarking on a search for a real-life girl he once knew in his childhood — the same. DL had always been a loner. He began to understand why when he started showing signs of unusual abilities--inhuman abilities. Were his dreams of being like a dragon more than just dreams? When others discovered his special nature, those dreams quickly became nightmares.

DL was now a collector's item. A former rodeo queen turned paralegal. A criminal attorney with a soft spot for lost causes. To find a missing girl, they'll team up for one wild ride… Dumped by her husband for a man, ex-rodeo queen Emily Bernal yearns for a fresh start.

When handsome local attorney Jack offers her a gig, she'. Jason Lash came to the quaint seaside town of Fairfield Bay to work in an urgent care clinic Then, one night, after wandering aimlessly through the local carnival, he sits before an old, withered, dying Gypsy to hear his fortune and ends up with much more. Sometimes the most dangerous things are hidden in plain sight.

Photojournalist Chloe McConnaughey is finally returning to normal life in Atlanta, when work sends her new beau to Los Angeles to consult on his latest movie project. All the while, the threat of wickedness from a dark sinister force from the past erupts and bleeds over into the present and futur. The location is beyond weird. Their good friend, Dara, had been restoring the hotel but died before it was complete. Her last wish was for them to come to the abandoned re. She just wanted to save her brother, who was dying in her arms.

Accused of using illegal magic, and sentenced to a cruel death at the hands of the Arcadian Guards, Hannah has no choice but to trust in the aid of a strange. The secret place where magic never sleeps… Too awkward to wear drainpipe trousers like the cool kids, too short of cash to afford new shoes, Adrian Mead is a struggling teenager in the s. When he discovers a comic book shop in a hidden back alley, he is tempted to steal something. WIN a mix of ebooks, signed paperbacks and swag — including a Victorian broach from Annabelle Anders! To enter, visit the giveaway page here and follow the instructions.

The gods are real Thousands of years ago, ancient deities fought a civil war that nearly destroyed the earth. They were defeated by a great warrior—and banished to spend eternity beyond the reach of the humans who once served them. Their war is raging once again. A remarkable tale of vengeance, time travel, and dark magic. What would you do if you woke up one morning and your world was inexplicably changed in the worst way imaginable?

Banished by his enemy into a hellish alternate dimension, Luke Decker fights to understand why his world has suddenly chan. Our latest featured giveaway has an awesome prize for thriller lovers! Darla McKendrick is nine when she first hears her mother and her aunt Didi secretly discussing their younger sister, Rebecca, speculating about her life in squalor. From the moment Darla asks to know more about her mysterious aunt, she is offered nothing but half-truths, distortions, and evasions. Behind every pair of eyes that view this world through a tapestry of worn fences and shadowy, concrete kennels lives a rich and vibrant story.

In the oppressive heat of a Clay County summer, a chained dog gives birth to a spirited, black puppy named Toby. Ethan Jones is a forager who lives in a post-apocalyptic, oppressive society that terminates anyone with mutations caused by nuclear radiation. The Temple of Shirith-Kah is coming to Arkavia, to destroy the old gods, burn the land and blacken the sky. In the shadows of the Velderwood, unwitting guardians defend a forgotten hope against a demon sent to destroy it. Termaris is a surly mercenary with a talent for killing, but he cares littl.

For thirty years, Brendan Murphy has done the impossible. Brendan knows Ed did not kill his pregnant wife in the fall of Thirty years ago, when she was just out of law school, McKenzie Fitzgerald, int. Four awesome books for the price of one! A potion gone wrong, or right? Single, unemployed, and in charge of her very own pet zombie, Ella Perry is cooking up trouble, and it's raining. All you have to do is do what I say and all of this can go away. When a tragic accident from her past surface. They are good looking, rich, have a beautiful baby girl, and live in a historic mansion on Winnetka Road.

Their life seems picture perfect—until something dark and unnatural stirs. In the dusty ruins of the world, three groups exist: Living on land that has not healed from the poison of the past, and surrounded by dangers too numerous to count, the Outliers have adapted - but to the Sovereign and the Fortis, they are nothing. And will Sophie continue to allow her painful past to haunt her, or will she let it go? Don't let the magenta hair fool you. Brit Byers means business. Brit with the Pink Hair is an "opposites attract" romance with a slow burn sure to delight fans of Jane Austen, sassy female leads, and love stories with a dash of spice.

A modern Emma Woodhouse, Brit is a well-meaning but sometim. Still tormented by the disappearance of his wife, ex-intelligence agent James Ryker sets out on a personal mission of revenge, prepared to go t. As food and water runs out and roving gangs take over the city, his sharpshooting skills are soon put to good use. A fast-paced story that fans of post-apocalyp. What would you do if everything you knew was a lie? Kaya Bruentis is a normal sixteen year old with a normal life in a normal town. When she meets Zaire and Cahir, resurrections of a past that she can't remember, Kaya finds herself running for her life from Abbadons who are determined to capture.

War rages between the Confederation and the Union. Shattered fleets watch each other warily across a war torn frontier. Captain Tyler Barron and the crew of Dauntless are finally enjoying some rest but their respite will be short-lived: You Might Miss Something. Demetri DeMarco, is more than ready to race forward into a new way of doing old school. The only thing that's just out of his reach is the one thing he wants most But my new job as police chief has me here for a while.

And Kendall Vincent might just get me to stay. I feel at home. When two gay kids get beat up, I realize that Abingdon needs me. And a legend that is about to come back to life. Like any other senior, Amanda Shane has a simple plan: Except she doesn't know that the moment she blew out the eighteen candles on her birthday cake, she wasn't in charge of h. Sometimes you find your dream in the last place you'd ever look Acting royalty Amanda Monroe would love to forget about the times her friendship with cocky movie hero Darrell Rawlings crossed the line and became more.

After all, she's about to wrap up her sitcom, marry the non-actor of her dre. What happened that changed the priest—the revered healer of antiquity—into a person of science? How was the modern doctor made? For instance, how have the advances of medic. What would you do to save the woman you love? Max is still trying to master his newly discovered magic when he has to answer that question. To save Adreanna, he has to pursue her crazed kidnapper to unfamiliar worlds filled with unknown perils.

Will he have the courage to take on dragons and exiled. Journalist Kimani goes undercover to expose a sex slave auction — but when ultra-wealthy Benjamin buys her for a week, she discovers an unexpected world of domination and desire…. Read for a cause! Twenty talented, award-winning, and bestselling authors have crafted never before released Yuletide-themed tales about their most beloved characters.

All proceeds go to the LifeAfter-Visions of Hope project, whose goal is to spread awareness to three taboo topics that underscore so. Detective Charlie Crawford is having a tough week. When her freedom is compromised, she turns to her trusted friend, Nikki Jennings, to help her. For lovers of Jacqueline Carey, Brent Weeks and Storm Constantine - fantasy with mystery, romance and a paranormal twist. For Alloran, who practised the fine art of frivolity for decades, life just got serious.

Framed for the heinous crime of demon summoning, he is forced to flee his comfortab. A group of powerful men combine forces and hatch a plan to make a ruthless power play to control the Middle East. United by a common foe in the Saudi Government, the secret cabal manipulates social media and a newly discovered religious artifact to create a revolution. Pat Walsh and his band of CIA. When the invitation to the prince's ball was put in her hands, Ella imagined a single night of wonder, a single night to escape her wretched life and be anyone else for a while.

She never expected to turn the prince's head, she certainly never expected to run off with his heart. Mulan meets Sarah J Maas in these thrilling tales filled with celestial magic, death-defying adventure, and enduring romance. Moonburner-Book One—Kai is a Moonburner—a female sorceress reviled by her people and normally killed at birth. Except Kai's parents saved her by disguising her as a bo. Isabel's doesn't realise how lucky she is. She has a job that pays the bills and a great group of friends. Then things start to go horribly wrong and fires break out wherever she goes.

Isabel is convinced that doe-eyed newcomer, Alicia is the cause of her woes. But how can she convince her friends,. Frayka must find and convince the dragon gods of the Far East to appease the gods of her Northland heritage. If she fails, her own Northlander gods will destroy all the mortals who once promised to worship them. The Far East is a mysterious place of legend to Northlanders like Frayka. One dead body and many suspects. Once she uncovers an ancient secret society formed over two hundred years ago to k.

In a time of war, they discovered peace. When David Roberts finds a label, a silver button and a lump of old leather in a chest in the attic, it opens up a window onto the true of joy of Christmas. Jayne Sinclair, genealogical investigator, has just a few days to unravel the mystery and discov. Lewis Knight left behind his life as the son of nobleman years ago. The rough, scarred man is quite content to use his brute force and bad reputation to help the Earl of Redmere with his smuggling—a ruse to aid the war effort.

But that all changes when Louisa--the woman he's admired for far too lo. Only two things are capable of sating my hunger: When Ellie Kent moves to an English village with her new husband Graham, she fears the villagers will always see her as that young American who snared their attractive vicar during his sabbatical in California. But this challenge is nothing compared to what happens when she stumbles across a body in. This is why Fallen angels fear the light… Snatched to the Under World, Violet discovers that her father is the tyrannical king of hell. Spring is here and things are looking up!

Our intrepid hero, Mina, has a new car. And she even has a boyfriend or two lined up. No man will ever abuse her again. Taking a self-defense class, Brie begins to regain the confidence she lost and move on with her life. I walk in on her changing, her big beautiful untouched body clad in nothing but a bra and panties. No size zero model makes my body react the way hers does.

When sixteen-year-old Katie Wickliff is plagued by strange visions, she returns to her ancestral home to find answers. She is followed by the handsome William. Is he her otherworldly protector, or the dark creature who killed her mother? When Ann has a strange and foreboding glimpse of her future life, she finds love again and is deliriously happy. But will she choose it if it means her husband must die? The perfect recipe for murder. Wren knew her sweet treats could work wonders, but she never knew they could work magic. Ex-Army Texas boy Owen Harding fears only one thing—his inner beast.

Dan Rothberg struggled after an accident killed his wife and he nearly lost custody of his daughter. He can no longer allow himself to get attached to anything or anyone. Until he meets Hannah. Hannah Cohen is a young executive with a meddlesome grandmother and a troubled brother. Ever since her recent transgender experience, Jade has been obsessed with cocks.

But not just any cocks — ladyboy cocks. She finds herself wandering the desert and stumbles upon. What Roble wants to create is illegal And everyone seems determined to stop him from trying. But when a few unrepentant ladies join his fight to live free, the Las Vegas desert is going to light up like the 4th of July.

In , a disreputable young man breaks his engagement by accusing his fiancee of witchcraft. Little does he know, she really is a witch. A reporter with nothing to lose. An inspector with something to hide. All Lilly Davis wanted was a simple life. She thought she could have that with Peter Hewitt. With too many secrets getting in the way she knew it would never work. My remorse is skin deep.


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  • I live paycheck to paycheck, call the apartment on the scary side of the city my home, and have no life outside of working two jobs. When given the chance to crash a masquerade party in the rich part of town, I readily agree. George, the sidekick, the misfit: Upon graduating college, J. Jaxson has to claim a mate or step down as alpha—but his dark secret will kill any mate he claims. Wolves and witches mix like matches and TNT… and their secrets could destroy them both.

    What should have been a simple mission escalates into a deadly game, as violent criminals are determined. With over 1, 5-star ratings on Goodreads for Book 1, readers love the War of the Fae series! Jayne Sparks, a potty-mouthed, rebellious seventeen-year-old and her. A faerie sword that binds their lives together.

    Of all the Dark Warriors, Kyran Tarakesh is the most aberrant. Having witnessed the brutal murder and rape of his mother seven centuries ago, his sexual preferences are twisted and perverse. He walks the razors edge of control, and he likes it that way, until he loses that balance and accidentally k. In this six-story building, most who occupy the rooms are long-term residents, though some stay for as little as an hour. Something wicked this way comes… Willful witches, supernatural sorcerers, cruel queens, and powerful priestesses fall out of favor and rise to rule in this highly sought-after collection of spellbinding stories!

    More than 20 award-winning and bestselling authors have come together to curate. Sophie attends a well-being retreat hoping to find herself, instead, she finds a dead body. Coming to the Scottish Highlands, she hopes to escape life and get in touch with her inner self. She wants to free herself from the anxieties that have gripped her for years.

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    She has 67 days. No one can see her, and no one can hear her. She's stuck in her hospital room with no one else. No one but the girl in her bed- the girl she once was. She has to find a way out before the clock locks her in. If she doesn't, she'll be left in between- for. Her journey to uncover the truth will challenge most every belief she has about right and wrong. Can she outrun assassins determined to suppress the truth about her?

    He pushes buttons I didn't even know I had. Fire to my ice. Snarly, alpha, and achingly kind. He's the last man on earth I wanted in my life. But I'm in so much trouble I need a protector. What if Gabe freaking Barin is more than a gorgeous nuisance? What if he's the hero I. Brett is honorably discharged from the military—a fate worse than death—due to a PTSD diagnosis. Meanwhile Ainsley, with the aid of her cousin,. Could she be on Earth by mistake? Magic is my weapon of choice, and I wield it with precision. My people in the Oasis are under attack.

    My mother would be so proud. To protect our tradition, and those that cannot defend themselves, those families of the Hunt that produce three children of the same sex - born or chosen - those children are pressed, upon threat of expulsion and exposure, to join the Hunt. There is an ancient evil that stands between the Drayada Stone and the four companions.

    Zora must look deep within herself to find the power to destroy the biggest enemy of the Nightwalkers, and in so doing, she might just destroy herself. Worlds clash as criminal profiler Skye Winters' personal and professional lives collide. Fearing an epidemic, the Metropolitan Police call upon bacteriologist Dr Anton Kronberg to examine the body. All signs point toward cholera having killed the m. Know when you are beaten. The women in his life have a way of ending up six feet under.

    First his sister, and then his client, the one he failed to protect. For once, Flash is sick of running. He longs to be punished for his misd. Three men with quests to save the world from The Gatekeeper, the man trying to rule it. Long ago, with dusty rites and moldy tomes, a powerful artifact known as the Gauntlets was fashioned for a sorcerer's hands.

    Promising untold power, the. At thirty-two, newspaper reporter Molly Hacker vows to never attend another wedding until she has had her own. Annie Fitch, a former police detective, struggles to make ends meet as a private investigator in the sleepy town of Leesburg, Virginia.

    But things are looking up, since her on-again. Can a famous sea life artist with survivors guilt and a resort owner find love on the shores of Windswept Bay? As a mother, it can be difficult to remember to care for yourself while raising a family. A betrayal from the School leads Darksiege, last of Those That Stand in Shadow, with the means to achieve ultimate power at last. A mighty artifact, divided and cast into different realms, will spell doom if found.

    Qualtan, Glaive, Cassandra, and Bartholomew will travel to places dark and terrible,. Fourth in the award-winning Tales of Mr. Hallie and Cory set out to find the lost parents of Mr. Snuggywhiskers, the dapper, well-spoken mouse who lives in the tallest tree in their backyard. Finally, they spot the clue that may lead them to the Cap'n and Helen.

    Raised in a miserable home full of anger and hate, life for poor Edith seems to hold little hope. But she finds plenty when she teams up with her older gay cousin, Ronnie, who makes her his mission with a plan to re-shape. When Amber Faulkner strives to honour her dying adoptive mother's last request to be reunited with her birth mother—the universally reviled politician Joan Simmons—she has no idea of the anguish and pain that lie ahead. What dark secrets lie behind the reason her birth mother abandoned her wh. Some people wait a lifetime to find their true love. Their powerful romance quickly blossoms, and they become inseparable.

    Sometimes, the only way to save a galaxy is to conquer it. Soda, the sassy Neon Octopus wants her Overlord job back. But she'll have to battle the weird collection of snarky supervillains standing in her way. Prepare for galactic mystery, idiotic bureaucracy, and shenanigans. Third in the award-winning Tales of Mr. Hallie and Cory are determined to figure out Mr. Slowly they unravel the mysterious past of Mr. Snuggywhiskers, the dapper, well-spoken mouse who live. When an old love returns to town, Mackenzie is anxious to see if she and Grady Sullivan can pick up where they left off.

    Grady tries to fig. Fall hard for the infamous Beckett brothers in this steamy bad boy bundle. A four book Amazon Top 50 Bestselling series now available in one complete box set. These tough, alpha brothers play hard and love harder, willing to do anything to protect their women. From hot football superstars to dete.

    Do you need a soul reboot? Do you feel stuck in a rut most days? Do you dread getting out of bed? Have you fallen into a habit of complaining? In Every Day is a Gift, Bridget shares her own journey in overcoming these same obstacles by finding a more grateful attitude. She talks about different e. Hallie and Cory were surprised when they discovered that their grandmother knew about Mr.

    But how could she? They had met him when they climbed over a magic branch and, astonishingly, found themselves shrunken to mouse size and standing before the small, red door, with the cheese-sha. Carter Spence is a 26 year-old accountant out of Boston who has an out-of-body experience following a car accident that kills his parents.

    He views the chaos from above the scene of the accident, then passes through the tunnel and reunites with relatives who have long been dead. A woman he does not. When Hallie and Cory cross a magic branch that shrinks them to mouse size, they make the acquaintance of Mr. Snuggywhiskers—the friendly, well-spoken mouse who lives in the tallest tree in their backyard.

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    Modern Arabic Literature, ed. Cambridge University Press, , p. See Emmanuel Sivan, Radical Islam: Yale University Press, , p. The later expanded edition of this work solves the problem by eliminating reference to Nawal El Saadawi altogether. A Century of Arab Feminist Writing, ed. Margot Badran and Miriam Cooke London: Indiana University Press, , p. Feminist Engagements with Comparative Literature, ed. Cornell University Press, , p. See Chapter 5 below. The Coming Challenge, ed. Nahed El Gamal London: Zed Books, , pp.

    Indiana University Press, The linked issues of nationalism and feminism are also dealt with in Kumari Jayawardena, Feminism and Nationalism in the Third World London: Temple University Press, contains much relevant information as well. Harvard University Press, , pp. Freda Hussain New York: See, for example, Fatima Mernissi, Beyond the Veil: Schenkman, , pp.

    Haakon Chevalier New York: Grove Press, , pp. Editions Rochevignes, , inside cover. Of course, there is nothing sociologically unique or even particularly Islamic in this development. After World War II in the United States, for instance, women who had entered the work force in the national emergency were eased back into more domestic roles. Politics of an Emerging Mass Culture Bloomington: Indiana University Press, , pp. Journal of International Studies 20, no. Perceptions, Realities and Struggles for Liberation, ed.

    Macmillan, , pp. I have been present at lectures and participated on panels with Dr. El Saadawi on many occasions at which she has enunciated these positions. Mary Daly, Beyond God the Father: Beacon Press, , p. University of Texas Press, For a recent attempt to link Orientalism and feminist approaches to the study of Middle Eastern women, see Edward W. Said, Culture and Imperialism New York: Knopf, , pp. See also Minh-ha T.

    Trinh, Woman, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism Bloomington: Yale University Press, , pp. Many of the studies in Judith Tucker, ed. Old Boundaries, New Frontiers Bloomington: Indiana University Press, deal, on one level or another, with some of these questions. We shall have ample occasion to see this in many of the chapters below e. This objection has been made orally to me on many occasions by both Arabs and non-Arabs.

    The negative image of Arabs in the West has been much studied. One of the most interesting works in this regard is that of Jack G. Cornell University Press, , pp. Princeton University Press, An Historical and Critical Introduction Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, , pp.

    It would be equally vain to speak of an authentic medieval Arabic culture, if by this one meant one untainted by influences from Greece to Persia. The historic greatness of Arabic culture, indeed, has been its capacity to act as the cosmopolitan vehicle for the integration of diverse civilizational strands.

    Issa Boullata ; emphasis added. Perhaps because he is not a literary critic, Tarabishi is less concerned with formal generic issues. The most articulate statement on this topic is, again, that of Joanna Russ, How to Suppress. The struggle between me and my femininity began very early…before my femininity sprouted and before I knew anything about myself, my sex, or my origin…indeed, before I knew what hollow had enclosed me before I was tossed out into this wide world.

    Thus does Nawal El Saadawi enter the domain of modern Arabic novelists. What about the physician of the title? Medicine and the physician play key roles in the saga of the female protagonist. That social power permits the female to overcome the power of the male. The corporal consciousness is linked to a body knowledge that subverts claims of patriarchal superiority by showing the artificiality of socially created gender distinctions. The social power and body knowledge thematics give revolutionary force to a novel that might otherwise seem conservative in its general plot structure.

    After all, this is the story of a protagonist who finds a successful resolution in the context of existing society. But as we shall see in this and subsequent chapters, the social power associated with such happy endings is not available to all women. Several of the most sophisticated and most influential writers of the contemporary Arab world are or have been practicing physicians. There is a societal reason for this: Further, different branches of the Arab intellectual elite are far closer to one another than is the case in the West more like the situation in nineteenth-century Europe, for example.

    Much the same phenomenon exists in the fiction of medical practitioners in the West, like Richard Selzer and William Carlos Williams. But relative to her Western colleagues, the Egyptian feminist doctor makes less of disease and cures, focusing more often on the social role of medicine and the physician. Often, fictional situations that could lead to the medical treatment of physical maladies are resolved without professional intervention.

    If the medical interaction between physician and patient is not the primary concern in these narratives, what is? In fact, the most pervasive function of medicine and the physician in the Saadawian fictional corpus is that of a repository of social power. In Memoirs of a Woman Doctor El Saadawi sets forth the major issues related to medicine and the physician that would dominate the rest of her fictional corpus.

    Despite its title and first-person narration, which suggest an autobiographical account especially for those who know that its author is a female medical practitioner , the text nowhere formally presents itself as autobiography. Memoirs of a Woman Doctor is a female Bildungsroman that adopts the fiction of autobiography. These sentiments extend to her female body as well, giving rise to resentment and hatred of its physical peculiarities.

    Science appeals to her greatly, but eventually this fascination is transferred to nature, when she moves to a peaceful country village. The accompanying partial resolution permits the hero to make peace with other figures in her life. The first, with an engineer, ends in disaster when he tries to block her career. The second, with a physician, also fails. Memoirs of a Woman Doctor tells a story of conflict and conquest. The language of its first-person narration is deceptively simple, consisting of short, choppy sentences generously interspersed with ellipses.

    The ellipses are not without meaning; they signal a hesitation on the part of the narrator, an uncertainty in the process of discovery of self. To do so, social barriers are broken, ones associated with the body. Biology, we discover, is not destiny for this precocious narrator. As a child, the hero of Memoirs hated …the ugly, limited world of women, from which emanated the odor of garlic and onion.

    That loathsome word that my mother repeated every day until I hated it…And I never heard it without imagining in front of me a man with a big belly inside of which was a table of food… [13]. My brother cuts his hair and leaves it free, he does not comb it, but as for me, my hair grows longer and longer. My mother combs it twice a day, chains it in braids, and imprisons its ends in ribbons….

    My brother wakes up and leaves his bed as it is, but I, I have to make my bed and his as well. My brother goes out in the street to play, without permission from my mother or my father, and returns at any time…but I, I do not go out without permission. My brother takes a bigger piece of meat than mine, eats quickly, and drinks the soup with an audible sound, yet my mother does not say anything to him…. I am a girl! I must watch my every movement…I must hide my desire for food and so I eat slowly and drink soup without a sound….

    My brother plays…jumps…turns somersaults…but I, whenever I sit and the dress rides up a centimeter on my thighs, my mother throws a sharp, wounding glance at me. The first object the narrator focuses on is hair: Braids and ribbons are normally external signs of femininity. Perhaps it is not accidental, then, that her first overt act of rebellion should consist in her going to a beauty shop to have her hair cut.

    Memoirs chronicles three adolescent sexual encounters between the hero and members of the opposite sex. The first involves a doorkeeper who approaches her when she is sitting on a bench and attempts to explore her sexual parts with his hand. She stands up in terror and runs away.

    She is asked to meet him, as a matrimonial prospect. When her father announces that she is first in her class, she expects the guest to show some admiration. But all she sees is the man scrutinizing her body, his eyes settling finally on her chest. She runs from the room, again in terror. They take a walk together and decide to run a race. When she is about to win, however, he pulls her down and tries to kiss her. For a moment, she wishes that he would embrace her fiercely, but when she comes back to her senses she becomes angry and slaps him.

    These three early encounters display the same dynamics: The first example, with the doorkeeper, is a clear trespass. Normally, in middle-class Egyptian society such an encounter would be viewed as socially licit, or at least free of violation. The narrator does not experience it that way, though, and so she runs away with the same terror. Hence this encounter must also be understood as an illicit one, representing a physical violation, though one more subtle than that committed by the doorkeeper.

    In the incident with her cousin, likewise, she interprets his advances as physical transgression, despite her own initial desire. Notwithstanding their varying degrees of social acceptability, these three incidents are all treated in the text as more or less open forms of physical violation, as the exercise of unwanted male sexual power over woman.

    The balance of power has shifted. Medicine equals power; in fact, it is this power that motivates the narrator to attend the faculty of medicine in the first place. The submissive domestic existence in the kitchen that must be rejected, the long braided hair that must be cut, the illicit sexual advances that must be countered: Nor is it mere coincidence that all these repudiations occur before the narrator decides to pursue medicine, a career centered on the body.

    The body will be the conquered, not the conqueror. These declarations of superiority are social and intellectual: The Faculty of Medicine?! The word has a fearful impression on me…it reminds me of white shining glasses under which are two penetrating eyes moving with amazing speed…and strong tapered fingers holding a sharp frightening long needle…. My mother was trembling in fear and looking at him with supplication and humility…And my brother was shaking from fear…And my father was lying in bed looking at him with imploration and a plea for mercy….

    Medicine is a fearful thing…Very fearful…My mother, my brother, and my father look at it with a look of reverence and veneration. I will be a physician then…I will learn medicine…I will put on my face white shining glasses…I will make my eyes under them penetrating, moving with amazing speed. And I will make my fingers strong, tapered. I will hold with them a sharp frightening long needle. I will make my mother tremble in fear and look at me with supplication and humility…And I will make my brother shake in front of me from fear…And I will make my father look at me with imploration and a plea for mercy… [20].

    This first exposure to medicine is interesting indeed, for here the science is subsumed in the identity of its practitioner, a male physician. That the physician should be a male may seem logical at first glance. But this gender label has deeper implications. Medicine on the one hand, the traditional world of the mother on the other: What appeals initially to the female narrator of Memoirs is the effect that this man has on her family members: The narrator would have us believe that their trepidation is the direct result of the raw power of the scientist.

    A closer look reveals, however, that the father is lying in bed. If so, might not his reaction and that of the mother and brother be related to his infirmity? The narrator is oddly silent here. In asserting her decision to become a physician, the young woman speaks of the effect she will have on her three family members: Their response to the to-be female physician will be identical to those they already displayed to the male physician, but with one major difference. This time, the father is not lying in bed. There is no question about his physical state.

    The reason for his reaction and that of the other family members is clear: But what does it mean to be this idolized specialist? The male doctor, when we first meet him, is nothing more than isolated body parts: These body parts, eyes and fingers, are each linked to instruments external to the body, glasses and a needle.

    When the female supplants him, she is transformed into those identical corporal and noncorporal parts. The eyes and the fingers are highly suggestive. The fingers are holding a long needle, an instrument of penetration. Power is reduced to its social and male sexual components. And the primary vector of this power is the gaze. The scopic penetrating activity of the physicians operates in a dialectical relationship with the scopic activity of the other family members. Their glance is generated alternately by fear or a desire for mercy.

    It becomes even more significant when seen in a Middle Eastern context. With this delicate scopic game, Nawal El Saadawi has entered a gender debate, one quite vigorous in the contemporary Islamic world, over the glance. Men looking at women, women looking at men: The debate is a long-standing one in the Arabo-Islamic tradition; its roots go back centuries. This power, initially the attribute of the male, will become the property of the female through the science of medicine.

    Medicine will do more for the narrator of Memoirs. The science of the body will help the female protagonist to conquer her own body: In literary Arabic, this word signifies something shameful, defective, and imperfect, the genitals, and something that must be covered. As the signifier for the genitalia, it refers to men as well. But this loaded word also stands for the femininity of the female physician. In this discourse, a physical reality that in itself possesses no necessary moral or social meaning is invested with a moral value. This investment, in turn, dictates social conclusions.

    Her entire body takes on the notions of shame and imperfection. Such a generalization is perfectly consistent with traditional Arabo-Islamic values. This narrator is treading on provocative ground. After all, we are still in the domain of the corporal. But nature is equally important for her ultimate liberation, helping to heal her wounds and lead her to a rebirth. After she completes her medical studies, our hero replaces the god of science with that of nature.

    These actions, now performed with unrestrained physicality, show once again the limitations that a female body traditionally places on its subject. Most important, nature brings about a rebirth: But what an education the narrator receives in medical school! The most powerful manifestation of that education is in the form of cadavers.

    Medicine through dissection will permit the physical destruction of the two bodies and with them a recasting of many of the issues that earlier plagued the narrator. There she is in the dissection room in the presence of the two naked bodies. It is as if she were reliving her childhood and reexamining the values that her mother and society tried to instill in her.

    Even her previous violations will be redefined. Why did my mother place these enormous differences between me and my brother and make of man a deity for whom I had to spend all my life cooking food? Why is society always trying to persuade me that masculinity is a distinction and an honor and femininity a disgrace and weakness? Is it possible for my mother to believe that I am standing with a naked man in front of me and with a scalpel in my hand with which I will open his stomach and his head?

    And who is society? Is it not men like my brother whose mother raised him since his childhood as a god? Is it not women like my mother who are weak and useless? How is it possible for these people to believe that there is a woman who knows nothing about man except that he is muscles, arteries, nerves, and bones? One question, inserted among the others, overshadows the rest: But that is only half of it. The scalpel and the opening of the stomach and the head will reappear in the book like an obsession.

    That dreadful thing with which mothers frighten their young daughters, so they are consumed by the fire of the kitchen for the sake of his satiation and they dream of his spectral figure night and day! There he is, man, thrown in front of me, naked, ugly, torn to pieces…. I did not imagine that life would disprove my mother to me so quickly…Or would avenge me of man in this way…That dejected man who looked at my breasts one day and saw nothing of my body but them….

    Once again, mothers are to blame, for they instill the values of domesticity in their daughters. More than polysemy is involved here, however. From the world of enforced domesticity, woman moves into the domain of religious punishment, from the world of onion and garlic into that of eternal damnation. What a stunning reversal of the earlier discourse of marriage inculcated by the mother! Nonetheless, the narrator has still not had her full revenge. The dead male corpse is made to pay for the illicit acts of the male gender in its entirety.

    The female corpse, whose inanimate existence is framed by her hair, also has a role to play. Both in introducing us to this anonymous young woman and in closing the account of the dissection, the narrator focuses on a single body part: It begins the description long and soft and ends it in the pail of the dissection room, together with the other discarded body parts, in a striking narrative trajectory. In between, the narrator moves along the body down from the hair to the white teeth and long, painted fingernails, ending at the chest.

    Much like her dead male colleague on the dissection table, the female corpse fulfills more than a medical function. Her breasts are over her chest but they are thin, hanging down…. The two pieces of flesh that tortured me during my childhood…the two that determine the future of girls and occupy the minds and eyes of men….

    There they are resting under my scalpel, dried up, wrinkled like two pieces of shoe leather! They move from the dead body to become attached first to the narrator and then to the entirety of women.

    Books by Sally Mays

    When they return to the corpse, it is as two desiccated objects resembling shoe leather. From body parts that elicit such admiration on the part of men and society , the breasts join the lower body in a less than flattering image. The hair is equally eloquent. The power of the hair should come as no surprise. After all, was it not a basis of difference between the narrator and her brother? Part of the power of these dissection room scenes lies in their imagery.

    But more than language and image are at issue here. In question is the redefinition of societal gender boundaries. The cadavers are unwilling pawns in this morbid game. The identity of sorts between the narrator and the female corpse means that the narrator has died as well. I will never die and become a corpse like these corpses stretched out in front of me on the tables.

    It is as if only death could fully exorcise the traumatic experiences of her youth. But this is not just any death. It is death seen through the prism of medicine. The medical universe has once again united the social and the corporal. The process of dissection, along with the rest of the medical school experience, leads the narrator to the conclusion, proven by science, that woman is like man, and man like animals. Yet there is more to medicine in Memoirs than the power of knowledge.

    Although at first the hero conceives of medicine as science and as an all-powerful deity, she begins to change her mind when she sees one of the physician instructors slap a patient; she now decides that this medicine, at least, lacks compassion. In fact, medicine is not only the catalyst that redefines childhood experiences in the dissection of the two corpses, for example , but it is also the element that will delimit the adult experiences of the female protagonist.

    This will be accomplished not by the bodies of the dead, however, but by the bodies of the living, in the form of patients. The first patient the female physician encounters is a young woman afflicted with rheumatism. To add to the complexity of the situation, this patient is pregnant, and we meet her as she is giving birth. Her fate is doomed, though: The physician finds medicine to be particularly ineffective in helping her to understand this mystery that permits life to emanate from death.

    Like the pregnant woman, this man has a greater role to play than that of simple patient, the object merely of professional duty. His diseased existence permits the hero to feel pain for the first time in her life. Her outbreak of tears elicits an emotional response from the patient, who tries to reassure her. This role reversal has its function. The sick old man bears a gift for the hero: And as if this were not enough, his smile causes her to become aware of her love for life. Is it a surprise, then, that medicine and patients become coterminous with the amorous relationships of this woman doctor?

    Their relationship begins as one of mutual misunderstanding. He has an idea of a woman doctor that, interestingly enough, has some similarity to the first scopic image of a physician the narrator exposed us to: When he asks her a second time if she will marry him, she has a flashback and thinks about the meaning of the word marriage: His surprised reaction elicits this explanation: The union is doomed.

    Once locked into the relationship, however, the physician finds her husband urging her to abandon her clinic and her medical career. In the prenuptial stages of the relationship, the man offers more than he is in fact willing to deliver. The woman is lured into what she believes is a relationship of mutual equality; the marriage, however, proves to be the opposite. This is the first part of the archetypal structure.

    Instead, she leaves her husband and continues her quest. Before the narrator finally meets the right partner, she must have a second negative relationship, this time with another physician and instigated by a man afflicted with cancer. The couple meet at an official dinner party, where both express an aversion to the traditional trappings of these sorts of gatherings.

    Again an anxious voice pleads: The young man is in desperate need of a blood transfusion, and the artist goes out to get the blood. He also helps the physician to set up the transfusion. When she urges him to move away from the patient lest he become infected, he replies: He looked at me in silence…And he did not move from his place until I finished setting up the transfusion equipment… [52].

    This episode leads to the personal fulfillment of the narrator of Memoirs, a fulfillment that is arrived at neither quickly nor easily. What gives this incident its curative power? This most recent relationship was initiated on nonmedical, neutral ground, at an official dinner party. The medical emergency surfaces only after the couple have declared their love for each other. But this fact does not necessarily seal the relationship. The patient still has an important role to play. He, in fact, does the driving. And he helps to set up the transfusion, remaining with the doctor until the operation proves successful.

    Her companion asks her: I sat on a wooden chest next to the patient and injected him with medicine…I prepared the blood transfusion equipment…and determined the blood type… [54]. He goes out and brings blood, the life-giving force. The blood type is irrelevant. The two will participate equally in this activity of giving life. They will cure the patient and allow him to be reborn. As a couple, they are participating in the activity of birth, albeit metaphorically.

    We have in a sense come full circle. Here, the couple gives birth, in what is for them a life-giving process. Medicine is at last successful. And if we remember that the momentous phone call occurs in the text directly after their mutual declarations of love, after the couple has formed itself, then childbirth seems the logical next step. It is only because the doctor is able to overcome her obsession with medicine as power that she is also able to transcend her focus on the male-female power struggle and come to terms with both her femininity and medicine.

    This last is now science and art, reason and compassion. One of the interesting elements in the system outlined by the narrative is that while the female physician-heroes integrate these two aspects of medicine, the male physicians do not. The incident with the patient afflicted with cancer is a case in point. Indeed, in Memoirs, and in the work of Nawal El Saadawi generally, one really finds two types of physicians: In only two short stories by Nawal El Saadawi do male physicians play a central role without being opposed to women doctors in the same narrative.

    Rajab, economically less well off than his neighbor, whose Cadillac he envies. Rajab insults his staff, has too many patients and not enough beds, and feels that he has wasted his seven years in medicine. The arbitrariness of making the woman doctor caring and her male counterpart uncaring is evident when one looks at the strategy of Sherif Hetata, also a physician-writer and the husband of Nawal El Saadawi. Nawal El Saadawi develops the sexual politics of medicine in two ways: This complex of elements is not restricted to Memoirs of a Woman Doctor.

    In Two Women in One, for example, similar themes emerge. The female hero is a medical student who is torn between her medical training and her career as an artist. The thematic nexus of science and art, entities that pull in opposite directions, pervades the fictional narratives of Nawal El Saadawi, tearing her female heroes apart. Here, the narrator reveals that she erred in choosing medicine: Here, the physician narrator expresses her disgust at both her financial and her social status when she wonders how she could possibly have lost her way and entered the field of medicine.

    Thus medicine becomes a focus for conflicts and choices in the lives of young women, and these conflicts and choices revolve around medicine as a total system, especially as a career. This she does by focusing on the physician-patient relationship, using a significant, and eminently characteristic, literary technique. This technique is one of embedding or enframing, familiar to Eastern and Western readers alike from The Thousand and One Nights.

    She begins the story by explaining her interest in the case of one of the prisoners, Firdaws, a prostitute convicted of murder and awaiting execution. The physician is drawn to this woman—realizing, at the end of the novel, that she herself is no better than the prostitute. We shall examine this duo in detail in Chapter 3. The voice of many other Saadawian female heroes is epistolary. The physician narrator of the novella The Thread tells the reader, in the frame, that she once had occasion to examine a woman with strange symptoms.

    The physician later receives a letter from this patient, outlining events from her perspective. Thus we see the doctor and medicine through the eyes of this patient, who has had a neurotic relationship with her father. The Thread and Woman at Point Zero are similar in several respects. In each case a female physician is reflected through the eyes of a female patient, with the patient receiving more narrative space than the doctor.

    In addition, both works deliberately set the patient up as the social opposite of the physician. In this way, both The Thread and Woman at Point Zero cast doubt on the role of the physician as an epitome of science and wisdom, superior to, and detached from, the patient. It is no coincidence that external and internal narrators, doctor and patient, are both women.

    The literary linkage reflects their common embodiment of the female condition. Physician and patient alike are caught in the coils of sexual politics. The owner of this internal epistolary voice is named Firdaws, like the internal narrator of Woman at Point Zero. We will compare the sagas of these two women in Chapter 3, when we analyze the story of Firdaws the prostitute. In both narratives, the doctor is able to liberate the stories and give them forms that will assure their life. If these internal narratives could have stood on their own, without help from an external narrator, what is the purpose of the embedding?

    First, the external first-person narrator adds a second subjectivity to that of the internal narrator. More important, the embedding technique turns the narrative authority over to the physician, who thus becomes responsible for the transmission of the internal stories. Finally, by having embedded narratives that are not directly related to medical questions, the texts extend the power of the physician beyond the medical into the general. In these four cases of embedded narratives, the stories, both internal and external, are about women.

    In all four cases, moreover, a physician narrator presents the saga of a woman who might not, because of her social situation, have the opportunity for literary self-expression. The physician, as a figure of social power, thus serves as a literary conduit that allows the other voices to speak out. Here again, medicine as a vehicle of empowerment for individual women is set against the more general context of relative female powerlessness.

    But something far more subtle and more culturally encompassing is being intimated. As cultural critics beginning with Michel Foucault have shown repeatedly, medicine acts as a special discourse, itself a form of power. In the Saadawian corpus, the social power of the physician merges with that of the writer. This is an odd coincidence, indeed, the initial S. In any event, the story that Dr. A young girl is sitting in her clinic, flanked by a tall young man, her brother.

    Alone with the doctor, the girl refuses to be examined, but begs her to save her from this brother, who, she says, will surely kill her. The girl objects, insisting that he will simply take her to another doctor. But she is in love with another man and will marry him in a month. She swears to the physician that nothing dishonorable has occurred between them. Similarly, a young woman had visited the narrator of Memoirs of a Woman Doctor in search of protection from murderous male relatives. Examining her own conscience and the medical code of ethics, the physician in the story calls in the brother and declares to him that his sister is honorable.

    As she explains it later, she believes that the girl is honorable: It cannot distinguish between honor and dishonor. The physician then writes her own oath: Hence, its presence is quite eloquent. This physician narrator needs a third-person narrator as an intermediary to introduce the writing process itself. The recording of the story in writing differs from the oral and epistolary framings analyzed, although like them it requires mediation.

    Like the other protagonists whose sagas need to be narrated by the physician, these two characters from the countryside would not have access to the written word. The female physician is once again the means by which silent voices can tell their stories. But this particular framing highlights an important element that redefines the other enframed narratives.

    The story functions as a medical case history. When viewed in this light, the other physician-mediated narratives take on a different cast: The rewriting of the oath is suggestive as well. Rather than adhering to traditional professional values, this physician redefines what medicine should be by setting down her own creed. This act is subversive, calling into question the authoritarian structure of professions like medicine, all of whose members are tied by this bond.

    Is this a feminist redefinition of medicine? It could very well be! With the brother-sister pair, El Saadawi has put her medical finger on a deep societal problem. Brother-sister jealousy is pervasive in Arabo-Islamic culture. In fact, the noted Arab folklorist Hasan El-Shamy has boldly argued that brother-sister sexual attraction, with the attendant jealousy, is so powerful in Arab culture that it replaces in its psychological centrality the Oedipus conflict of Western society. The sister in this Saadawian short story is frightened by her brother.

    Twice she tells the physician that he will kill her—a not unrealistic expectation, as we will see again in the case of The Circling Song Chapter 4. The female body must be certified as honorable before it can be handed over to the would-be husband.

    Men, Women and God(s)

    Again medicine as social power for the female comes to the rescue. Her body is a commodity whose honor, if absent, will surely lead to her death. There, the price of a young girl is agreed upon, so much per kilo, and she is taken to the marketplace and weighed in. Medicine and art are once again joined in an eloquent proclamation. Yet it is through medicine that she has saved the sister from the death threats of her brother. The story of Dr. She may be able to save herself. She may sometimes be able to save others. But what we glimpse already in these medical narratives is another female type: These two types, and the intense emotional electricity that is created when they meet, receive their most powerful expression in the searing novel Woman at Point Zero.

    New Voices of Change, ed. Elizabeth Warnock Fernea Austin: University of Texas Press, , pp. The entire text has been translated as Memoirs of a Woman Doctor, trans. Catherine Cobham San Francisco: City Lights Books, This childhood novel, however, did not see the light of day until Comparative references to other Arabic, or even European, texts are merely illustrative and not exhaustive.

    Robert Coles New York: See Philippe Lejeune, Le pacte autobiographique Paris: Editions du Seuil, , esp. Three Continents Press, On the general importance of nature for such resolutions, see ibid. Maktabat al-Nahda al-Misriyya, , pp. Feminist Press, , esp. It is, of course, not our task here to examine the compositional process of the author. Presses Universitaires de France, , p. This negative attitude to the mother is not an aberration on the part of El Saadawi but can be seen in other Arabic texts written by women as well. How common this might be in other nondominant literatures remains to be investigated.

    Suffice it to say that the Anglophone Indian writer Ved Mehta follows the same procedure. Princeton University Press, , pp. For a discussion of this phenomenon, see Malti-Douglas, Blindness and Autobiography, pp. The number of pamphlets that deal with this issue is enormous and proliferating at an incredible rate.

    The spread of the Islamist movement has made this issue even more salient, not only in the Middle East but in Europe as well. See also Chapter 9 below. Roger Allen Minneapolis and Chicago: Bibliotheca Islamica, , pp. Spoken Language Services, , p. Presses Universitaires de France, , pp. I am currently completing a study on this question in contemporary Islamist discourse. Wimbush and Richard Valantasis New York: Oxford University Press, , pp. Susan Rubin Suleiman Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, , p. Cambridge University Press, Osman Nusairi and Jana Gough London: See, for example, Theodora R.

    Methuen, , pp. Brill, ; Alf Layla wa-Layla, 2 vols. Minerva, , pp. Editions Gallimard, and Naissance de la clinique. Folklore Publications Group, , esp. Woman at Point Zero: A prostitute convicted of murder and awaiting execution speaks. Her name is Firdaws, Paradise, yet her life seems the earthly antithesis of that other world.

    Just as riveting is the literary creative process that gives birth to her discourse. It is also the one that has generated the greatest interest among Western critics working with the translated text. Despite these features, Memoirs is not an autobiography. An intrusive first-person narrator also enframes the haunting Circling Song see Chapter 4. Nowhere in the Saadawian fictional corpus, however, is the problem of the biographical and the novelistic clearer than in Woman at Point Zero. Indeed, critics have had too great a tendency to see this masterpiece in biographical and documentary terms.

    In her introduction to the English translation of the book, she explains the circumstances that led to the writing of this work. That prison is the one El Saadawi would herself enter as a prisoner in Such a judgment, however, would reduce a superior work of art to a documentary, to occult its literary characteristics.

    El Saadawi could just as easily have penned a case study of Firdaws, as she does with other female cases in Woman and Psychological Conflict. The novelistic form is no textual accident. The external narrator begins by explaining her interest in the case of one of the prisoners, a prostitute. But the prisoner is elusive, refusing to see anyone, and even refusing to sign an appeal of her sentence.

    The prison doctor assures the psychiatrist that he himself does not believe Firdaws is a killer: Firdaws comes from a poor family. Clitoridectomy is performed on her young body. Her paternal uncle, a traditionally educated Azharite, molests her. He does look after her education, however, and takes her with him to Cairo after she is orphaned. There, she participates in a political demonstration, becomes infatuated with a female teacher, and graduates with superior grades.

    Firdaws overhears a conversation between her uncle and his wife over her future: Yes, he is retired, but he is alone, and the step-aunt does not feel that he is too old for Firdaws. The young woman runs away. But at night she does not know what to do. Two eyes are watching her and she is frightened. He is over sixty, she is not yet nineteen. The old man is not only physically repulsive, but he is an incredible miser as well. He watches his young wife incessantly to make sure she wastes nothing, even searching the garbage for anything thrown away.

    On one occasion, he finds a piece of food in the refuse and beats Firdaws in punishment. There, she is told that men beat their wives, especially religious men. More beatings and misery lead Firdaws to run away yet again. A female neighbor helps Firdaws escape, this time on the road to prostitution. The experience is a rebirth for Firdaws. Is he a pimp? Firdaws does not wait but takes the occasion to run away. A policeman propositions her. She refuses, showing him her secondary school degree.

    He threatens to turn her in and, after exploiting her, does not even pay her for her services. Once again on the street, in a downpour, Firdaws gets picked up by a rich man in a car, who, however, does pay her ten pounds for her favors. This is a turning point in her life. She realizes the worth of money, she is able to eat her fill, she is able to get a clean house with a library in which she places her framed degree.

    At age twenty-five, she becomes her own boss. In bed, he wants to talk. She replies that he will have to pay like anyone else. And do you also have a quick examination? Finally he declares that the major difference between the two occupations is that that of Firdaws is not respectable.

    This assessment convinces the prostitute to reevaluate her life. She attempts to escape sexual slavery by working in an office as a secretary. When a pimp attempts to run her life, however, she ends up killing him. She is taken to her execution at the end of the narrative. In the epilogue, the psychiatrist concludes that she herself is no better than the prostitute. The physicality that the psychiatrist highlights in describing Firdaws will in the end sustain the narrative. The reality of this prostitute murderer is, however, problematic: The vaginal metaphor is extended as we discover that the narration takes place in a hermetically sealed cell, a womblike structure whose window and door are closed.

    The two women are the only things in it. This vaginal space is also a space of water. The psychiatrist imagines that the coldness she feels from sitting on the bare floor is like that of the ocean she swims in as in a dream. It is her orders to the medical practitioner that transport the latter into that dream universe and into the potentially enclosed world of the homosexual couple. The real fluidity of water also allows for another fluidity, in narrative roles. The psychiatrist is able to cede her place to the prostitute as she becomes the listener to the tale.

    Her sense of involvement is intense. Unable to move, she feels that the earth is on top of her and not she on top of it; the sky becomes like the earth and is also pressing on her: A feeling I did not experience in my life, but once, and several years back, when I loved a man who did not love me. His refusal of me became not the refusal of one human being in a big world full of millions of humans, but the refusal of me by the entire world, with all that is in it and all who are in it.

    A feeling I did not experience in my life, but once, several years back, when I was in love for the first time, and I went for the first appointment to meet my lover. The entire episode has sexual overtones. The gender of the lover in her comparisons is clearly identified: Redefining the prisoner-psychiatrist duo in terms of lover and beloved is pivotal in the narrative. It smacks, on a most superficial level, of a homosexual encounter between the two females.

    The attraction on the part of the psychiatrist is clear, the underlying sexual tensions are present. Whether Firdaws is party to this redefinition, however, remains a mystery. An intricate game of sexual roles and reversals takes place in the prologue and in the epilogue as well. The physician begins the narrative as the active member who initiates the discourse, who will give the prostitute a chance to tell her life. This superior position is not maintained for long, however. Firdaws becomes the lover, assuming the active role and converting the hitherto active psychiatrist into the passive beloved, initially scorned and then satisfied.

    The prostitute narrator becomes the active member of the duo. When the physician first faces her, she feels as if I had died in the first moment when my eyes met hers. Concomitant with this role reversal between physician and prostitute is a parallel shift in the discourse. Never does this medical practitioner interrupt the story to ask a question or to alter the flow of the discourse. Rather, the opposite takes place. The psychiatrist sits on the ground of the jail cell. Has the reader simply been witness to a dream? What is the relationship between dream and reality?

    It is her voice that belongs to the ethereal and uncertain realm of dreams. Her body and her voice interact in a narrative game that overturns the reality of the body flanked as it is by the uncertainty of the voice; ultimately, that voice emanating from the world of dreams is responsible for the narrative.

    Her voice will be choked off by the hanging. A chance meeting, a furtive touching of hands, tears on both sides: Is it possible for me to love a woman? Here again we find the chance meeting, the furtive touching of hands, the tears on both sides.