The Return

The Return

Fathers, Sons and the Land In Between

Summary

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

Reviews

  • 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

About the author

Hisham Matar

Hisham Matar was born in New York to Libyan parents, spent his childhood in Tripoli and Cairo and has lived most of his life in London. His memoir The Return was the recipient of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, the PEN/Jean Stein Award and the Rathbones Folio Prize among others, and was shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford, the Costa Biography and the National Book Critics Circle Awards. He is also the author of In the Country of Men, shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Anatomy of a Disappearance, and A Month in Siena. Matar is a Professor at Barnard College, Columbia University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Arts. His work has been translated into over thirty languages.
Learn More

More from this Author

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more