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The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between

The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between

Author: Hisham Matar
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WINNER OF THE 2017 PULITZER PRIZE: from Man Booker Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist Hisham Matar, a memoir of his journey home to his native Libya in search of answers to his father's disappearance.

In 2012, after the overthrow of Qaddafi, the acclaimed novelist Hisham Matar journeys to his native Libya after an absence of thirty years.       

When he was twelve, Matar and his family went into political exile. Eight years later Matar's father, a former diplomat and military man turned brave political dissident, was kidnapped from the streets of Cairo by the Libyan government and is believed to have been held in the regime's most notorious prison.        

Now, the prisons are empty and little hope remains that Jaballa Matar will be found alive.  Yet, as the author writes, hope is "persistent and cunning."       

Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for biography/autobiography, the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, France's Prix du livre étranger, and a finalist for the Orwell Book Prize and the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award, The Return is a brilliant and affecting portrait of a country and a people on the cusp of immense change, and a disturbing and timeless depiction of the monstrous nature of absolute power.

Winner of Pulizter Prize for Biography 2017

Shortlisted for Costa Biography Award 2016

Shortlisted for Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction 2016.




What a brilliant book. The Return reads as easily as a thriller, but is a story that will stick; a person is lost but gravity and resonance remain -- Hilary Mantel It is likely to become a classic. -- Colm Toibin Wise and agonizing and thrilling to read -- Zadie Smith A total work of art. It reminded me of Solzhenitsyn. It is of the same importance. I love it. -- James Rebanks Bristles with arresting wisdom -- Jeremy Paxman A treasure for the ages -- Peter Carey Tremendously powerful -- Nadeem Aslam A magnificent memoir of exile and loss -- Rawi Hage One of the essential books of our times -- Adam Foulds A profound and powerful meditation on love, loss and exile Sunday Express A truly remarkable book Daily Telegraph Stands comparison with the best literature of exile Prospect [An] extraordinary memoir -- Financial Times Marvellously well-handled memoir Evening Standard A tale of mighty love, loyalty and courage Spectator A masterful memoir, a searing meditation on loss, exile, grief, guilt, belonging and, above all, family. Book of the Week, Sunday Times Beautifully written Economist Exquisite Observer An astonishing political thriller Mail on Sunday [A] profound work of witnessing and grief... leaves a deep emotional imprint Newsday A moving, unflinching memoir of a family torn apart by the savage realities of today's middle east -- Kazuo Ishiguro I have always admired Matar's tender and compassionate but equally strong and compelling voice -- Elif Shafak Mr. Matar is not a wonderful writer because his father disappeared or because his homeland is a mess: he is a brilliant narrative architect and prose stylist, his pared-down approach and measured pace a striking complement to the emotional tumult of his material ... This book is an extraordinary gift for us all Wall Street Journal Breathtaking memoir... an elegy by a son who, through his eloquence, defies the men who wanted to erase his father and gifts him with a kind of immortality Washington Post 10 Best Books of 2016 The Return moved me to tears and taught me about love and home -- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Guardian Books of the Year A desolating and powerful account of his son's search for his father, in life and death -- Hilary Mantel New Statesman Books of the Year Is it a sign, or a consequence, of this dreadful year that the best books displayed stern lucidity in the face of darkness and death? Hisham Matar's search for his "disappeared" father in The Return (note how badly British politicians come out of it) -- Julian Barnes Guardian Books of the Year A masterpiece ... Its concision and reserve only heighten the power of a gripping and agonising story -- Alan Hollinghurst Guardian Books of the Year The Return is the self portrait of a haunting, a kind of political ghost story - made more unbearable by the beauty of its prose Daily Telegraph Books of the Year The intelligence and grace of Matar's writing is fuelled by a fierce and valid rage -- Rupert Thomson Observer Books of the Year For Matar, hope depends on individuals and families standing by cherished values -- Jonathan Benthall Times Literary Supplement Books of the Year A haunting and terrifying story, told with courage, anger, dignity and unswerving determination -- Blake Morrison Guardian Books of the Year Among the best of the year's writing... This book is his masterful ink-stained resistance The Sunday Times

Author description

Born in New York to Libyan parents, Hisham Matar spent his childhood in Tripoli and Cairo and has lived most of his adult life in England. His debut novel In the Country of Men was published in twenty-nine languages and won numerous international prizes as well as being shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Guardian First Book Award. His second novel, Anatomy of a Disappearance, was published to great acclaim in 2011. He lives in London and New York.

Stock Information

General Fields

  • : 9780241966280
  • : Penguin Books Ltd
  • : Penguin Books Ltd
  • : March 2017
  • : 198mm X 129mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : April 2017
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Hisham Matar
  • : Paperback
  • : 1
  • : English
  • : 823/.92 B
  • : 304