The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between

The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between

by Hisham Matar

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Overview

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE The acclaimed memoir about fathers and sons, a legacy of loss, and, ultimately, healing—one of The New York Times Book Review’s ten best books of the year, winner of the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize

When Hisham Matar was a nineteen-year-old university student in England, his father went missing under mysterious circumstances. Hisham would never see him again, but he never gave up hope that his father might still be alive. Twenty-two years later, he returned to his native Libya in search of the truth behind his father’s disappearance. The Return is the story of what he found there.

The Pulitzer Prize citation hailed The Return as “a first-person elegy for home and father.” Transforming his personal quest for answers into a brilliantly told universal tale of hope and resilience, Matar has given us an unforgettable work with a powerful human question at its core: How does one go on living in the face of unthinkable loss?

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY 

Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times • The Washington Post • The Guardian • Financial Times

“A tale of mighty love, loyalty and courage. It simply must be read.”The Spectator (U.K.)

“Wise and agonizing and thrilling to read.”—Zadie Smith

“[An] eloquent memoir . . . at once a suspenseful detective story about a writer investigating his father’s fate . . . 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

“This outstanding book . . . roves back and forth in time with a freedom that conceals the intricate precision of its art.”The Wall Street Journal

“Truly remarkable . . . a book with a profound faith in the consolations of storytelling . . . a testament to [Matar’s] father, his family and his country.”The Daily Telegraph (U.K.)

The Return is a riveting book about love and hope, but it is also a moving meditation on grief and loss. . . . Likely to become a classic.”—Colm Tóibín

“Matar’s evocative writing and his early traumas call to mind Vladimir Nabokov.”—The Washington Post

“Utterly riveting.”The Boston Globe

“A moving, unflinching memoir of a family torn apart.”—Kazuo Ishiguro, The Guardian

“Beautiful . . . The Return, for all the questions it cannot answer, leaves a deep emotional imprint.”Newsday

“A masterful memoir, a searing meditation on loss, exile, grief, guilt, belonging, and above all, family. It is, as well, a study of the shaping—and breaking—of the bonds between fathers and sons. . . . This is writing of the highest quality.”The Sunday Times (U.K.)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780812994827
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/05/2016
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Born in New York City to Libyan parents, Hisham Matar spent his childhood in Tripoli and Cairo and has lived most of his adult life in London. His debut novel, In the Country of Men, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and won numerous international prizes, including the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, a Commonwealth First Book Award, the Premio Flaiano, and the Premio Gregor von Rezzori. His second novel, Anatomy of a Disappearance, published in 2011, was named one of the best books of the year by The Guardian and the Chicago Tribune. His work has been translated into twenty-nine languages. He lives in London and New York.

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1. Trapdoor
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Excerpted from "The Return (Pulitzer Prize Winner)"
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Copyright © 2016 Hisham Matar.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
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Table of Contents

1 Trapdoor 3

2 Black Suit 16

3 The Sea 28

4 The Land 35

5 Blo' thaah 40

6 Poems 51

7 Your Health? Your Family? 62

8 The Truce and the Clementine 67

9 The Old Man and His Son 76

10 The Flag 85

11 The Last Light 92

12 Benghazi 103

13 Another Life 113

14 The Bullet 122

15 Maximilian 144

16 The Campaign 159

17 The Dictator's Son 171

18 The Good Manners of Vultures 190

19 The Speech 196

20 Years 206

21 The Bones 220

22 The Patio 234

Acknowledgments 241

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