Latifa al-Zayyat (1923–96) struggled all her life to uphold just causes—national integrity, the welfare of the poor, human rights, freedom of expression, and the rejection of all forms of imperialist hegemony. As a professor of English literature at Ain Shams University, her critical output was no less prolific than her creative writing, but the creative, academic, and political strands of her personality were interwoven. The Open Door is generally recognized as her magnum opus. MARILYN BOOTH received her D.Phil. in Arabic literature and modern Middle East history from St. Antony’s College, Oxford. She has translated numerous works of Arabic fiction, most recently The Tiller of Waters by Hoda Barakat (AUC Press 2001).