Non-fiction Book of the Month: The Return by Hisham Matar

The Return book cover

April's non-fiction Book of the Month is The Return – an incredibly moving memoir by award-winning author Hisham Matar

About the book

Named as one of the New York Times critics' top 10 books of 2016 and shortlisted for numerous awards, Hisham Matar’s The Return is undoubtedly a powerful piece of writing and has been hailed by Colm Tóibín as 'likely to become a classic'.

Matar was 19 when his father was kidnapped from their family home in Cairo and imprisoned in Libya. Twenty-two years later, the fall of Gaddafi meant he was finally able to return to his homeland. In this affecting memoir, the author takes us on an illuminating journey to find his father and rediscover his country.

Flitting back and forth in time between the present and his childhood memories of growing up in Libya, Matar describes the painful story of a family exiled and torn apart by war. But The Return is far from being just a memoir; as Matar pieces together the facts, letters and newspaper clippings about his father's work as an opposition leader to the Gaddafi regime and his imprisonment, the reader is drawn into a suspenseful detective story and a fascinating history of Libya. The exquisite writing gives the story dignity and grace, making The Return a journey that will stay with the reader for a long time.

About the author

Born in New York to Libyan parents, Hisham Matar spent his childhood in Tripoli and Cairo and has lived most of his adult life in England. His debut novel In the Country of Men was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Guardian First Book Award.

Hisham Matar

Ask the author

We're inviting you to put your questions to Hisham Matar. Post up your questions before 30 April and we'll upload the answers to the discussion thread by 10 May.