at Point Zero
is a novel
by Nawal El Saadawi
. Published by Zed Books Ltd.
out of New York
This novel is based in Egypt, a Muslim country. As the author says in her Preface: "I wrote this novel after an encounter between me and a woman in Qanatir Prison." In the story, this woman is named Firdaus, a woman sentenced to die because she killed a man. This woman strongly attracts the author, and the author continually attempts to interview this woman, who continually refuses, until, eventually, she allows it. The repression of women in Islamic society is forefronted as the main topic of the novel.
It's possible that Saadawi took many poetic liberties while recounting the story, but I don't think it really matters, as Saadawi basically lets Firdaus take over the novel, and the narrator change is noticable, in that the voice of Saadawi and Firdaus are not similar at all.
Saadawi and her husband have both spent time in Egyptian gaol/jail as political prisoners.