Professor Hanaa

by Reem Bassiouney

Professor Hanaa, the protagonist, fiercely independent in a male dominated society makes for a memorable lead character. The book is, at times odd, curious, intriguing, witty, frustrating and compelling. Hanaa will stick in my mind for some time yet. As a newcomer to Egyptian writing it offers a frank portrayal of gender and the status of women in that country.


She told herself that if she needed to explain herself to the doorman every day in this country, just because she was a woman, then it would be better if she went somewhere more civilized. It never crossed her mind to give the doorman ten pounds and explain that Khaled was her student. Ten pounds would have been sufficient to open the closed doors in his brain! Ten pounds would have been enough to make him feel like the private bodyguard of a French princess - if there was such a thing as a French princess! Ten pounds would have been enough to open up his heart, purge his conscience and explain the situation. She, however was not planning to sacrifice ten pounds. She had no intention of starting to pay bribes now.
Translated by Dr Laila Helmi


Woman at Point Zero by Nawal el Saadawi
Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga
The Almond by Nedjma

Read Extract

Books with similar rating


1. Select UK region:

Not in the UK?

Scotland Norther Ireland North East of England North West of England Yorkshire and the Humber Wales West Midlands East Midlands East of England London South West of England South East of England

Sign in


Whichbook Sign Up

Enter your email address to get started:

First name:
Last name:
Confirm password:


Email alerts are only available for registered users.