Hisham Matar

A Month in Siena
  • A Month in Siena

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

    'Hisham Matar has the quality all historians - of the world and the self - most need: he knows how to stand back and let the past speak' Hilary Mantel
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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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    'Sparkles with brilliant observations on art and architecture, friendship and loss' Guardian

    'An exquisite, deeply affecting book' Evening Standard

    'As exquisitely structured as The Return, driven by desire, yearning, loss, illuminated by the kindness of strangers. A triumph' Peter Carey

    'This book tells us much about the extraordinary power of art to inspire' Literary Review

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.