- Use promo code PRIMEBOOKS18 to save $5.00 when you spend $20.00 or more on Books offered by Amazon.com. Enter code PRIMEBOOKS18 at checkout. Here's how (restrictions apply)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ Free Shipping
I Killed Scheherazade: Confessions of an Angry Arab Woman Paperback – November 21, 2014
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of 2018 So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year so far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Special offers and product promotions
'Haddad is a revolutionary, this book is the manifesto. Read it or be left behind.' Rabih Alameddine 'Haddad is a poet who inhabits the storm.' Tahar Ben Jelloun 'In this courageous book Haddad breaks down the taboo of the silent absent Arab woman.' Elfriede Jelinek 'Courageous and illuminating - it opens our eyes, destroys our prejudices and is very entertaining.' Mario Vargas Llosa 'Haddad cannot be intimidated. This book is a lesson of courage for all those who fight to go beyond their own limits and chains.' Roberto Saviano 'A spirited call to arms' New York Times 'A vivid assertion of individuality, free speech, free choice and dignity against religious bigotry, prejudice and the herd instinct both within and outside the Arab world.' Guardian 'Lifts the veil on love and sex' Marie Claire 'Provocative and sensual' Huffington Post 'Beirut's body language pioneer' Washington Post
About the Author
She lives in Lebanon with her two sons.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
"In short, I am what you would call a fanatic of femininity." Joumana declares in her powerful talk. I loved your book Joumana and good for you. We need more Arab women like you! I would recommend reading this book in small doses though. Read few pages at the end of hard day, then let it be and right in your (pms) days pick it up again and read few more pages. Excellent book for women!
I thought this book was needed because it is very rare to find a book that comes across Gender relations in the Middle East.
Overall it was a good fast read and I felt it was interesting the whole way through the book.
Reacting to this as a white male growing up in the US and Canada in the 1970s and tail-end of the 60s (I can already hear women clamoring in condemnation of my having the nerve to arrogate the right to speak about or on behalf of women, let alone Arab women, though this only underscores the freedom of speech Western women have secured), I have to say, I don't know, I have just never been able to fathom this virginity thing. It simply never occurred to much less bothered me or anyone else around me when we became sexually active in our teens and thereafter whether girls were virgins or not. I assumed no men considered it important anymore until years later I chanced upon those incomprehensible news stories about Middle-Eastern women being punished or killed for real or imagined sexual transgressions, including pre or extra-marital sex. So I have a different angle on this. No, I am not threatened by sexual women, more power to you, the world needs a lot more of you. On the other hand, as Haddad points out, Western Judeo-Christian culture is not as sexually free as we assume. As an atheist I have no Christian guilt or hang-ups, but in no society anywhere is sexual discourse and action very free. Sexual abuse and harassment remain a big problem in all societies. We can't talk frankly about sex except in terms of its dangers and the proper (moralistic) channeling of it. Americans are notoriously uptight about their bodies; American women can't breastfeed in public without being arrested or accused of lewd activity. And so on. Perhaps everyone should give Haddad's paean to the sexualized body a read.
I do have a sticking point. Haddad cites the Marquis de Sade as one of her prime inspirations and literary influences, as he was mine. You have to actually sit down and read Sade to understand this. His novel "Justine" (Justine, Philosophy in the Bedroom, and Other Writings) blew up in my face like a bomb as a freshman in college, and I had to set aside all my homework to finish it. Sade is not simply about sadomasochism; he is about the working out of mental freedom. He pushed obscenity to the point where it took on philosophical depth and profundity, to the point he inhabited this realm exclusively and mined it for its knowledge. The obscene becomes perfectly logical in any bourgeois or patriarchal society disturbed by it, which relegates it to the private and the unspeakable. The whole Sadeian point is that privacy and domesticity themselves are obscene. Sadeian freedom is also a metaphor for the freedom of language. I wish I could hone my own language to a sharp enough point that with a single sentence I could slay the virginity dragon, convince so many young Chinese females to cast off the brainwashing and fear that presses them into the virginity cult, which is nothing other than the modern version of the brutal foot-binding their foremothers experienced.
Haddad's assured style slackens in the rather generic incantatory formulations that conclude the book, when what I'd like to see more of is a celebration of the obscene, starting with her own sexuality. It's nice to know, as she tells us, that she masturbates, prefers red bras (but wait - you didn't get that idea from Chinese women did you, who are traditionally indoctrinated into believing they must wear red bras and underwear when their Chinese horoscope year comes up?) and shaves her armpits (damn! nothing is more erotic than a woman's hairy underarms), but that's about it. There is scant concrete information about the men (and women?) in her life, her sexual experiences. To paraphrase Nabakov, I want the divine SEXUAL detail. What is her actual erotic life like in the particular and close-up? Could she really be worried about her privacy after reading Sade? Here she might take a page from the scandalous Chinese blogger Mu Zimei, who has written up her scores (or is it hundreds?) of sexual experiences with men in loving detail and posted them online (and has been translated into French ("Journal sexuel d'une jeune Chinoise sur le net") and German (Mein intimes Tagebuch). I haven't yet had the pleasure of reading her and hope it's an invigorating and not a tawdry read, but along with Joumana she's another woman I'd like to get to know.
Being a woman is powerful, and reading this book reassured me of my hopes, dreams, and power to become more than just the girl who had an unfortunate life...till now!