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The Return Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between by Hisham Matar

The Return Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between

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Shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award 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.

Costa judges' comment: “A brilliant, moving and beautiful book about family, longing and exile.”

If you like Hisham Matar you might also like to read books by M J Hyland, Ismail Kadare and Kiran Desai.


The Return Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between by Hisham Matar

Shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction 2016. 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.


'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

'A total work of art. It reminded me of Solzhenitsyn. It is of the same importance. I love it.' -- James Rebanks

'Wise and agonizing and thrilling to read' -- Zadie Smith

'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

About the Author

Hisham Matar was born in New York in 1970 and spent his childhood in Tripoli and Cairo. He has lived in London since 1986 and is currently at work on his second novel.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th June 2016


Hisham Matar

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Viking an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd


288 pages


Biography / Autobiography
eBook Favourites

Autobiography: general
Autobiography: historical, political & military



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