The Return
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The Return : Fathers, Sons and the Land In Between

4.13 (5,767 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE IN BIOGRAPHY
WINNER OF THE RATHBONES FOLIO PRIZE
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION
SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA BIOGRAPHY AWARD
SHORTLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR AUTOBIOGRAPHY
WINNER OF THE SLIGHTLY FOXED BEST FIRST BIOGRAPHY PRIZE
ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES' TOP 10 BOOKS OF 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.

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.

'A beautifully-written memoir that skillfully balances a graceful guide through Libya's recent history with the author's dogged quest to find his father' Barack Obama
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Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 18mm | 213g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0241966280
  • 9780241966280
  • 12,908

Back cover copy

1.1.0 Cover has been updated to match the latest edition
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Review Text

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
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Review quote

A beautifully-written memoir that skillfully balances a graceful guide through Libya's recent history with the author's dogged quest to find his father' -- Barack Obama Among the best of the year's writing... This book is his masterful ink-stained resistance * The Sunday Times * A haunting and terrifying story, told with courage, anger, dignity and unswerving determination -- Blake Morrison * Guardian Books of the Year * For Matar, hope depends on individuals and families standing by cherished values -- Jonathan Benthall * Times Literary Supplement Books of the Year * The intelligence and grace of Matar's writing is fuelled by a fierce and valid rage -- Rupert Thomson * Observer Books of the Year * The Return is the self portrait of a haunting, a kind of political ghost story - made more unbearable by the beauty of its prose * Daily Telegraph Books of the Year * A masterpiece . . . Its concision and reserve only heighten the power of a gripping and agonising story -- Alan Hollinghurst * Guardian Books of the Year * Is it a sign, or a consequence, of this dreadful year that the best books displayed stern lucidity in the face of darkness and death? Hisham Matar's search for his "disappeared" father in The Return (note how badly British politicians come out of it) -- Julian Barnes * Guardian Books of the Year * A desolating and powerful account of his son's search for his father, in life and death -- Hilary Mantel * New Statesman Books of the Year * The Return moved me to tears and taught me about love and home -- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie * Guardian Books of the Year * Breathtaking memoir... an elegy by a son who, through his eloquence, defies the men who wanted to erase his father and gifts him with a kind of immortality * Washington Post 10 Best Books of 2016 * Mr. Matar is not a wonderful writer because his father disappeared or because his homeland is a mess: he is a brilliant narrative architect and prose stylist, his pared-down approach and measured pace a striking complement to the emotional tumult of his material . . . This book is an extraordinary gift for us all * Wall Street Journal * I have always admired Matar's tender and compassionate but equally strong and compelling voice -- Elif Shafak A moving, unflinching memoir of a family torn apart by the savage realities of today's middle east -- Kazuo Ishiguro [A] profound work of witnessing and grief... leaves a deep emotional imprint * Newsday * An astonishing political thriller * Mail on Sunday * Exquisite * Observer * Beautifully written * Economist * A masterful memoir, a searing meditation on loss, exile, grief, guilt, belonging and, above all, family. * Book of the Week, Sunday Times * A tale of mighty love, loyalty and courage * Spectator * Marvellously well-handled memoir * Evening Standard * [An] extraordinary memoir -- Financial Times Stands comparison with the best literature of exile * Prospect * A truly remarkable book * Daily Telegraph * A profound and powerful meditation on love, loss and exile * Sunday Express * One of the essential books of our times -- Adam Foulds A magnificent memoir of exile and loss -- Rawi Hage Tremendously powerful -- Nadeem Aslam A treasure for the ages -- Peter Carey Bristles with arresting wisdom -- Jeremy Paxman Wise and agonizing and thrilling to read -- Zadie Smith A total work of art. It reminded me of Solzhenitsyn. It is of the same importance. I love it. -- James Rebanks It is likely to become a classic. -- Colm Toibin 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
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About Hisham Matar

Hisham Matar was born in New York City to Libyan parents and spent his childhood first in Tripoli and then in Cairo. He is the author of two novels, In the Country of Men and Anatomy of a Disappearance, and a work of non-fiction, The Return. In the Country of Men was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Guardian First Book Award and the National Critics Book Circle Award in the US and won six international literary awards. The Return won a Pulitzer Prize, the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, the Folio Prize and was shortlisted for many other awards including the Baillie Gifford Prize. Hisham Matar lives in London.
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Rating details

5,767 ratings
4.13 out of 5 stars
5 40% (2,332)
4 39% (2,253)
3 16% (896)
2 4% (221)
1 1% (65)
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