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The Return


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A breathtaking memoir and an extraordinary testament to the human spirit.

About the Author

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.


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
It is likely to become a classic. -- Colm Toibin

A total work of art. It reminded me of Solzhenitsyn. It is of the same importance. I love it.

-- James Rebanks
Wise and agonizing and thrilling to read -- Zadie Smith
Bristles with arresting wisdom -- Jeremy Paxman
A treasure for the ages -- Peter Carey
Tremendously powerful -- Nadeem Aslam
A magnificent memoir of exile and loss -- Rawi Hage
One of the essential books of our times -- Adam Foulds
A profound and powerful meditation on love, loss and exile * Sunday Express *
A truly remarkable book * Daily Telegraph *
Stands comparison with the best literature of exile * Prospect *
[An] extraordinary memoir -- Financial Times
Marvellously well-handled memoir * Evening Standard *
A tale of mighty love, loyalty and courage * Spectator *
A masterful memoir, a searing meditation on loss, exile, grief, guilt, belonging and, above all, family. * Book of the Week, Sunday Times *
Beautifully written * Economist *
Exquisite * Observer *
An astonishing political thriller * Mail on Sunday *
[A] profound work of witnessing and grief... leaves a deep emotional imprint * Newsday *
A moving, unflinching memoir of a family torn apart by the savage realities of today's middle east -- Kazuo Ishiguro
I have always admired Matar's tender and compassionate but equally strong and compelling voice -- Elif Shafak
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 *
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 *
The Return moved me to tears and taught me about love and home -- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie * 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 *
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 masterpiece . . . Its concision and reserve only heighten the power of a gripping and agonising story -- Alan Hollinghurst * Guardian 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 *
The intelligence and grace of Matar's writing is fuelled by a fierce and valid rage -- Rupert Thomson * Observer 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 *
A haunting and terrifying story, told with courage, anger, dignity and unswerving determination -- Blake Morrison * Guardian Books of the Year *
Among the best of the year's writing... This book is his masterful ink-stained resistance * The Sunday Times *
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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