Reviews

  • The Return is a riveting book about love and hope, but it is also a moving meditation on grief and loss. It draws a memorable portrait of a family in exile and manages also to explore the politics of Libya with subtlety and steely intelligence. It is likely to become a classic.

    Colm Tóibín
  • What a brilliant book. 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. In chronicling his quest for his father his manner is fastidious, even detached, but his anger is raw and unreconciled; through his narrative art he bodies out the shape of loss, and gives a universality to his very particular experience of desolation. 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
  • I love that book more than I can put into words. It is stunning, brilliant, touching, proud and noble... A hymn to a father and to decency itself, in the midst of hell... And a total work of art. It reminded me of Solzhenitsyn. It is of the same importance. I love it.

    James Rebanks
  • Matar is a delightful writer and his book bristles with arresting wisdom

    Jeremy Paxman
  • A triumph of art over tyranny, structurally thrilling, intensely moving, The Return is a treasure for the ages

    Peter Carey
  • The Return is tremendously powerful. Although it filled me with rage again and again, I never lost sight of Matar's beautiful intelligence as he tried to get to the heart of the mystery. I am so very grateful he has written this book

    Nadeem Aslam
  • Matar is the writer who has done most to convey the reality of Col Gaddafi's Libya

    Gideon Rachman, Financial Times
  • Extraordinary . . . One of the most brilliant literary debuts of recent years

    The Times on 'In the Country of Men'
  • Matar is beginning to do for the Arab experience what the likes of Salman Rushdie have done for the sub-continent

    The Times
  • A magnificent memoir of exile and loss

    Rawi Hage