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SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA BIOGRAPHY AWARD WINNER OF THE SLIGHTLY FOXED BEST FIRST BIOGRAPHY PRIZE ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES' TOP 10 BOOKS OF 2016 The Return is at once a universal and an intensely personal tale. It is an exquisite meditation on how history and politics can bear down on an individual life. And yet Hisham Matar's memoir isn't just about the burden of the past, but the consolation of love, literature and art. It is the story of what it is to be human. Hisham Matar was nineteen when his father was kidnapped and taken to prison in Libya. He would never see him again. Twenty-two years later, the fall of Gaddafi meant he was finally able to return to his homeland. In this moving memoir, the author takes us on an illuminating journey, both physical and psychological; a journey to find his father and rediscover his country.
The acclaimed memoir of a son’s search for the truth behind his father’s disappearance—one of The New York Times Book Review’s ten best books of the year and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • The Washington Post • The Guardian • Financial Times When Hisham Matar was a nineteen-year-old university student in England, his father was kidnapped. One of the Qaddafi regime’s most prominent opponents in exile, he was held in a secret prison in Libya. Hisham would never see him again. But he never gave up hope that his father might still be alive. “Hope,” as he writes, “is cunning and persistent.” Twenty-two years later, after the fall of Qaddafi, the prison cells are empty and there is no sign of Jaballa Matar. Hisham returns with his mother and wife to the homeland he never thought he’d go back to again. The Return is the story of what he found there. It is at once an exquisite meditation on history, politics, and art, a brilliant portrait of a nation and a people on the cusp of change, and a disquieting depiction of the brutal legacy of absolute power. Above all, it is a universal tale of loss and love and of one family’s life. Hisham Matar asks the harrowing question: How does one go on living in the face of a loved one’s uncertain fate? Praise for The Return “[Matar] writes with both a novelist’s eye for physical and emotional detail, and a reporter’s tactile sense of place and time. . . . The Return is, at once, a suspenseful detective story about a writer investigating his father’s fate at the hands of a brutal dictatorship, and a son’s efforts to come to terms with his father’s ghost, who has haunted more than half his life by his absence.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times “It seems unfair to call Hisham Matar’s extraordinary new book a memoir, since it is so many other things besides: a reflection on exile and the consolations of art, an analysis of authoritarianism, a family history, a portrait of a country in the throes of a revolution, and an impassioned work of mourning. . . . For all its terrible human drama . . . the most impressive thing about The Return is that it also tells a common story, the story of sons everywhere who have lost their fathers, as all sons eventually must.”—Robyn Creswell, The New York Times Book Review “A moving, unflinching memoir of a family torn apart by the savage realities of today’s Middle East. The crushing of hopes raised by the Arab spring—at both the personal and national levels—is conveyed all the more powerfully because Matar’s anger remains controlled, his belief in humanity undimmed.”—Kazuo Ishiguro, “The Best Summer Books,” The Guardian “Few trips could be as emotionally freighted as the one taken by Libyan-raised novelist Hisham Matar in his thriller-like memoir . . . about the post-Qaddafi search for his dissident father—and his own deeply ambivalent sense of homecoming.”—Vogue “A triumph of art over tyranny, structurally thrilling, intensely moving, The Return is a treasure for the ages.”—Peter Carey “Tremendously powerful . . . Although it filled me with rage again and again, I never lost sight of Matar’s beautiful intelligence as he tried to get to the heart of the mystery.”—Nadeem Aslam
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." This book is a profoundly moving family memoir, 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.
Nine-year-old Suleiman is just awakening to the wider world beyond games on the hot pavement outside his home beyond the loving embrace of his parents. He becomes the man of the house when his father goes away on business - but then he sees his father, standing in the market square in a pair of dark glasses. Suddenly the wider world becomes a frightening place where parents lie and questions go unanswered. In his father's worrying absence, Suleiman turns to his mother, who, under the cover of night, entrusts him with the secret story of her childhood. And, as lies and fears intensify, it feels as if the walls of Suleiman's home will break with the secrets held within it.
In Egypt, Nuri, a teenage boy, falls in love with Mona - the woman his father will marry. Consumed with longing, Nuri wants to get his father out of the way - to take his place in Mona's heart. But when his father disappears, Nuri regrets what he wished for. Alone, he and Mona search desperately for the man they both love. Only for Nuri to discover a silence he cannot break and unimaginable secrets his father never wanted him to know.
An Oprah Book Club selection, Cry, the Beloved Country, the most famous and important novel in South Africa’s history, was an immediate worldwide bestseller in 1948. Alan Paton’s impassioned novel about a black man’s country under white man’s law is a work of searing beauty. Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that is the inheritor of our fear. Let him not love the earth too deeply. Let him not laugh too gladly when the water runs through his fingers, nor stand too silent when the setting sun makes red the veld with fire. Let him not be too moved when the birds of his land are singing, nor give too much of his heart to a mountain or valley. For fear will rob him of all if he gives too much. The eminent literary critic Lewis Gannett wrote, “We have had many novels from statesmen and reformers, almost all bad; many novels from poets, almost all thin. In Alan Paton’s Cry, the Beloved Country the statesman, the poet and the novelist meet in a unique harmony.” Cry, the Beloved Country is the deeply moving story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son, Absalom, set against the background of a land and a people riven by racial injustice. Remarkable for its lyricism, unforgettable for character and incident, Cry, the Beloved Country is a classic work of love and hope, courage and endurance, born of the dignity of man.
p”A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR One of the best memoirs of 2016... From the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author of ‘Backlash’, an astonishing confrontation with the enigma of her father and the larger riddle of identity consuming our age.

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