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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 From the author of In the Country of Men, a Man Booker Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, comes an extraordinary memoir of his journey home to his native Libya in search of the truth behind his father?s disappearance. — — When Hisham Matar was a nineteen-year-old university student in England, his father was kidnapped. One of... more » 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 see 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?
Advance praise for The Return
?What a brilliant book. Hisham Matar has the quality all historians?of the world and the self?most need: He knows how to stand back and let the past speak. In chronicling his quest for his father, his manner is fastidious, even detached, but his anger is raw and unreconciled; through his narrative art he bodies out the shape of loss and gives a universality to his very particular experience of desolation. 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
?The Return is a riveting book about love and hope, but it is also a moving meditation on grief and loss. It draws a memorable portrait of a family in exile and manages also to explore the politics of Libya with subtlety and steely intelligence. It is a quest for the truth in a dark time, constructed with a novelist's skill, written in tones that are both precise and passionate. It is likely to become a classic.??Colm Tóibín
?A triumph of art over tyranny, structurally thrilling, intensely moving, The Return is a treasure for the ages.??Peter Carey
?The Return is 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. I am so very grateful he has written this book.??Nadeem Aslam« less
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