When Hisham Matar was a university student in England, his father was kidnapped. One of the Qaddafi regime’s most prominent critics in exile, he was held in a secret prison in Libya. Matar, the author of In the Country of Men, a Man Booker Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, chronicles his journey home to his native Libya after the fall of Qaddafi in search of the truth behind his father’s disappearance. Matar shares from The Return, his impassioned new work that weaves the intimacy of a memoir with the suspense of journalism to offer a moving reflection on exile, art, family, and the history of a revolution.
Hisham Matar was born in New York City to Libyan parents, 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 Premio Gregor von Rezzori. His second book, 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.
Louise Steinman is the curator of the award-winning ALOUD series and co-director of the Los Angeles Institute for Humanities at USC. She is the author of three books: The Souvenir: A Daughter Discovers Her Father’s War; The Knowing Body: The Artist as Storyteller in Contemporary Performance; and The Crooked Mirror: A Memoir of Polish-Jewish Reconciliation. She was a 2015 Fellow at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in Captiva, Florida. Her work appears, most recently, in The Los Angeles Review of Books and on her Crooked Mirror blog.