Hisham Matar's newest book, The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between, has been listed as part of the New York Times' "Best 10 Books of 2016" list.  

"Matar’s father, Jaballa Matar — a prominent critic of Muammar el-Qaddafi’s dictatorship — was abducted in exile, in 1990, and turned over to the Libyan regime. Whether Jaballa was among those killed in a prison massacre six years later is impossible to know; he simply disappeared. Hisham Matar returned to Libya in the spring of 2012, in the brief honeymoon after Qaddafi had been overthrown and before the current civil war, and his extraordinary memoir of that time is so much more besides: a reflection on the consolations of art, an analysis of authoritarianism, and an impassioned work of mourning."

Congratulations, Hisham!

To see the full list on the New York Times website, click here.  To read the original New York Times review of The Return, click here.


Hisham Matar was born in New York City to Libyan parents and spent his childhood first in Tripoli and then in Cairo. He writes in English. His first novel, In the Country of Men (2006), was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, The Guardian's First Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. It won six international literary awards including a Commonwealth Writers' Prize Best First Book award, the Royal Society of Literature's Ondaatje Prize, and the inaugural Arab American Book Award. His second novel, Anatomy of a Disappearance (2011), was shortlisted for the Encore Award, The Arab American Book Award, and was named one of the best books of the year by the Chicago TribuneThe Daily BeastThe IndependentThe GuardianThe Daily TelegraphToronto Sun, and the Irish Times. His novels have been translated to twenty-eight languages.