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From the author of In the Country of Men, a Man Booker Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, comes a beautifully written, uplifting memoir of his journey home to his native Libya in search of the truth behind his father's disappearance.
When Hisham Matar was a 19-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 were empty, and there was no sign of Jaballa Matar. Hisham returned 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?
Pulitzer Prize, Biography, 2017
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Joschka Philipps on 02-22-18
Touching memoir. Consider hard copy
Sometimes I wondered whether this book would not deserve to be read rather than being listened to. Though the voice of the author carries the story well, its low tone can at first appear monotonous, and later accentuates the story's heaviness to a degree that is hardly bearable at times. I also have the hard copy of the book and turning the pages from times to times felt good; the poetry seemed even more multi-faceted and the depths were easier to deal with. Anyway, whatever format one prefers, I highly recommend it.
53 of 55 people found this review helpful