'All the men I did get to know, every single man of them, has filled me with but one desire: to lift my hand and bring it smashing down on his face.
But because I am a woman I have never had the courage to lift my hand. And because I am a prostitute, I hid my fear under layers of make-up'.
So begins Firdaus' story, leading to her grimy Cairo prison cell, where she welcomes her death sentence as a relief from her pain and suffering.
Born to a peasant family in the Egyptian countryside, Firdaus suffers a childhood of cruelty and neglect.
Her passion for education is ignored by her family, and on leaving school she is forced to marry a much older man.
Following her escapes from violent relationships, she finally meets Sharifa who tells her that 'A man does not know a woman's value...the higher you price yourself the more he will realise what you are really worth' and leads her into a life of prostitution.
Desperate and alone, she takes drastic action.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 126 pages
- Publisher: Zed Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 22/06/2007
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9781842778739