Hisham Matar

A Month in Siena
  • A Month in Siena

  • FROM THE PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING AND MAN BOOKER-SHORTLISTED AUTHOR

    'Everybody should get to spend a month with Mr. Matar, looking at paintings' Zadie Smith

    'Sparkles with brilliant observations on art and architecture, friendship and loss' Guardian
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    When Hisham Matar was nineteen years old he came across the Sienese School of painting for the first time. In the year in which Matar's life was shattered by the disappearance of his father the work of the great artists of Siena seemed to offer him a sense of hope. Over the years since then, Matar's feelings towards these paintings would deepen and, as he says, 'Siena began to occupy the sort of uneasy reverence the devout might feel towards Mecca or Rome or Jerusalem'.

    A Month in Siena is the encounter, twenty-five years later, between the writer and the city he had worshipped from afar. It is a dazzling evocation of an extraordinary place and its effect on the writer's life. It is an immersion in painting, a consideration of grief and a profoundly moving contemplation of the relationship between art and the human condition.

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    'Bewitching . . . Meditating on art, history and the relationship between them, this is both a portrait of a city and an affirmation of life's quiet dignities in the face of loss' The Economist, Books of the Year

    'An exquisite, deeply affecting book' Evening Standard

    'A dazzling exploration of art's impact on his life and writing, and a moving contemplation of grief' Financial Times

    'Breathtaking' New Statesman

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.