The Stillborn

Notebooks of a Woman from the Student-Movement Generation in Egypt

Arwa Salih

Translated by Samah Selim



5 x 8 inches, 160 pp. December 2017

ISBN : 9780857424839

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Arwa Salih was a member of the political bureau of the Egyptian Communist Workers Party, which was founded in the wake of the Arab–Israeli War and the Egyptian student movement of the early 1970s. Written more than a decade after Salih quit the party and left political life—and published shortly after she committed suicide—the book offers a poignant look at, and reckoning with, the Marxism of her generation and the role of militant intellectuals in the tragic failure of both the national liberation project and the communist project in Egypt. The powerful critique in The Stillborn speaks not only to and about Salih’s own generation of left activists but also to broader, still salient dilemmas of revolutionary politics throughout the developing world in the postcolonial era.

Arwa Salih (1953–97) was a scholar who was active in Egyptian revolutionary politics in the 1970s and ’80s.


Samah Selim is a scholar and translator at Rutgers University.

Culture Studies
Arab List