Non-Fiction (Autobiographies, Biographies, Memoirs)


Memoirs from a Women’s Prison by Nawal El Saadawi
Egyptian medical doctor, writer, feminist writes about her personal experience as a political prisoner.


Iran Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope by Shirin Ibadi
From Amazon: “The moving, inspiring memoir of one of the great women of our times, Shirin Ebadi, winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize and advocate for the oppressed, whose spirit has remained strong in the face of political persecution and despite the challenges she has faced raising a family while pursuing her work.”


Beirut Fragments: A War Memoir by Jean Said Makdisi
Written by Edward Said’s sister, this memoir traces her life from Jerusalem to Egypt to England to America before finally settling in Beirut with her Lebanese husband and two sons.

Killing Mr. Lebanon: The Assassination of Rafik Hariri and its Impact on the Middle East by Nicholas Blanford
This powerful text, part biography, part history text, traces Hariri’s rise to power and his devastating assassination. Beautifully written.


Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood by Fatima Mernissi
From Publishers Weekly: “This rich, magical and absorbing growing-up tale set in a little-known culture reflects many universals about women. The setting is a “domestic harem”in the 1940s city of Fez, where an extended family arrangement keeps the women mostly apart from society, as opposed to the more stereotypical “imperial harem,” which historically provided sex for sultans and other powerful court officials. Moroccan sociologist Mernissi (Islam and Democracy) charts the changing social and political frontiers and limns the personalities and quirks of her world…”


In Search of Fatima: A Palestinian Story by Ghada Karmi
From Publishers Weekly: “Karmi, a doctor and founding member of the British political group Palestine Action, relates her quest for cultural identity after her “fragile… and misfit Arab family” leaves Jerusalem for England during the creation of the state of Israel in 1948”