Anatomy of a Disappearance

Anatomy of a Disappearance

3.43 (2,229 ratings by Goodreads)
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Nuri is a young boy when his mother dies. It seems that nothing will fill the emptiness that her strange death leaves behind in the Cairo apartment he shares with his father.

Until Mona.

When Nuri first sees Mona, sitting in her bright yellow swimsuit by the pool of the Magda Marina holiday resort, the rest of the world vanishes. But it is Nuri's father with whom Mona falls in love and who she will eventually marry. And their happiness consumes Nuri to the point where he longs to get his father out of the way. However, Nuri will soon regret what he wished for. And, as he and his stepmother's world is shattered by events beyond their control, they both begin to realise how little they really knew about the man they loved.

In a voice that is delicately wrought and beautifully tender, Hisham Matar asks, in his extraordinary new novel, when a loved one disappears how does their absence shape the lives of those who are left?
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 152 x 230 x 20mm | 340.19g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0670918075
  • 9780670918072
  • 349,441

Review quote

Haunting in every sense, Anatomy of a Disappearance is an absorbing novel that finds its eloquence in what is left unsaid and its most vivid imagery in what has been lost, possibly for ever * Sunday Times * The ability of fiction to convey injustice with a unique emotional power means that novels can change history . . . Mr Matar is the writer who has done most to convey the reality of Col Gaddafi's Libya -- Financial Times * Gideon Rachman * This beautiful, subtle novel, like the lives of its characters, repays many readings -- The Times * Helen Dunmore * Sensually written, there is an extravagant feel even to the simplest sentence . . . From start to finish that exquisitely profound quality of uncertainty is the most wrenching aspect of all * Telegraph * A curiously engaging story that takes one into a world that seems simultaneously remote and familiar as something in a dream. Each time I had to put it down I couldn't wait to get back to it -- Michael Frayn A tenderly written novel with Shakespearean themes, it can be read as a deeply personal account of the losses that tyranny and exile produce * TLS * Probably represents the most important artistic response yet to the trauma of Arab dictatorship . . . Matar is beginning to do for the Arab experience what the likes of Salman Rushdie have done for the sub-continent -- Sathnam Sanghera * The Times * Two things stood out as I read Anatomy of a Disappearance. First, there was the quiet power of the language, and the author's control of it. Second, there was Hisham Matar's ability to tell a story that from the first sentence seems inevitable, yet is full of surprises -- Roddy Doyle It has a dreamlike quality, in spite of Matar's cool and lapidary prose. It is a fable of loss, and an often troubling meditation on fathers and sons . . . Hisham Matar is writing from the heart * Observer * Submerged grief gives this fine novel the mythic inexorability of Greek tragedy * Economist * A poignant exploration of the half-state between grief and hope * New Statesman * A tightly coiled, masterfully controlled narrative . . . A testament to the terrible human cost of unjust government in the Arab world * Independent on Sunday * The novel is all the more powerful for the restraint with which the author writes of a son's loss and longing for his father. Fascinating, too, in its perspective on the changing face of the Arab world * Daily Mail * Beautifully crafted . . . as much about how a person vanishes as it is how the memory of a vanished person is preserved and transformed * Financial Times * Sculpted in a prose of clutter-free, classical precision . . . Marked by a brooding and rather sinister sensuality . . . Matar suffuses Nuri's education in love and loss with an erotic frisson and fragile grace that lend the book an inner radiance -- Boyd Tonkin * Independent *
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About Hisham Matar

Born in New York to Libyan parents, Hisham Matar spent his childhood in Tripoli and Cairo and has lived most of his adult life in England. His debut novel In the Country of Men was published in twenty-nine languages and won numerous international prizes as well as being shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Guardian First Book Award. His second novel, Anatomy of a Disappearance, was published to great acclaim in 2011. He lives in London and New York.
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Rating details

2,229 ratings
3.43 out of 5 stars
5 13% (295)
4 36% (795)
3 36% (802)
2 11% (256)
1 4% (81)
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