The Return: Fathers, Sons, and the Land in Between
When he was twelve, Matar and his family went ...more
The author's father was a very successful businessman, quite wealthy and against the Qaddafi regime, he put his money into the overthrow of this corrupt and abusive government as he and extend ...more
-thoughtful, philosophical content about a son's relationship to an absent father.
-a memoir that illustrates how political events shape the lives of a nation's people.
-details about life under the Libyan dictator Qaddafi.
Themes are smoothly and thoughtfully interwoven. This is not merely a book about historical events. It is not only one man's, the author's, struggle to come to terms with the uncertainty of his father's death and h ...more
Very male author Hisham Matar, the respected masculine writer of this award-winning very masculine-ge ...more
Hisham Matar was born in Libya but due to his father's political activism, spent much of his life in Egypt and London. One day, his father abruptly gets kidnapped by the Libyan government. What follows is years of uncertainty, never really knowing if he's alive or where he is. When Gaddafi fell, Matar and his family returned to Libya, hoping to find more clues about his father's whereabouts.
This book is very lyrical. It's not told linearly but rather, through associa ...more
I tried people! I tried so damn hard, but…
Hisham Matar’s family is from Libya, but Matar grew up in Egypt, because his father was an opponent of the Qaddafi regime. If you don’t know anything about the Qaddafi regime here’s a buzzword: Benghazi.
Qaddafi imprisoned dissidents, or had them assassinated. Many of his opponents lived abroad, but that did not deter Qaddafi! He happily sent assassins all over the world to murder his adversaries.
An example from the book: Matar’s brother Ziad, while at sc...more
Description: In 2012, after the overthrow of Qaddafi, the acclaimed novelist Hisham Matar journeys to his native Libya after an absence of thirty years. When he was twelve, Matar and his family went into political exile. Eight years later Matar's father, a former diplomat and military man turned brave political dissident, was kidnapped from the streets of Cairo by the Libyan government and is believed to have been held in the regime's most notorious prison. Now, the prisons are empty and little ...more
In this memoir, Matar writes of his personal experience of the Libyan revolution, it's history, and the disastrous effects complete power can have on a nation. He writes of his family's time in exile, of grief and of loss, with an underlying note of hope throughout. Exquisitely written, this book deserves a lot more credit.
It may hurt your heart a little, but I think we all need that from time to time.
Straight to t ...more
The book was a struggle. I really wanted ...more
In addition to tales of the family clan and the search, Hisham gives a little history of Libya which, I daresay, many no little about. For instance, I learned that the Italians who occupied Libya as colonial op ...more
Hisham Matar put into words my unexplained sense of 'belonging' and (over)romanticization of Benghazi, and Libya.
"My silent condemnation of those fellow exiles who wished to assimilate- which is to say, my bloody-minded commitment to rootlessness- was my feeble act of fidelity to the old country, or maybe not even to Libya but to the young boy I was when we left."
"Revolutions have their momentu ...more
After I finished the book this Persian poem came to my mind:
imprisoned bird, may you live and see that promising day that there is no cage in the world.
ای مرغ گرفتار بمانی و ببینی، آن روز همایون که به عالم قفسی نیست
Hisham Matar and his brother were born into a wealthy Libyan family and were both educated overseas. Their father, Jaballah Matar, was a prominent figure in Libyan political life and was an outspoken detractor of Gaddafi’s. In 1979 the family fled to Cairo, fearing for their safety. Despite this evasive measure and the family’s vigilance, in 1989, when Hisha ...more
Before reading this, I didn't know much about Libya. I knew that there was a dictator called Gaddafi, who was overthrown and killed during the Arab Spring revolution in Libya, and I didn't even exactly remember which year. (it was 2011.) I vaguely knew from the news that the r ...more
I had high expectations and it's one of the few books I ordered before the actual publishing date in these past few years, and the hardback and its beautiful cover was a joy to hold.
It starts rather slowly, since the writer does not have the freedom as when writing fiction, but then he seems to get true to his mo ...more
To me anyway.
I only kept reading this one because of the subject matter — the import of it, if you will — but three-quarters in and enough is enough. This just isn't doing it for me.
I didn't know a great deal about Qaddafi's regime in Libya before reading this, other th ...more
In this powerful memoir, Libyan novelist Hisham Matar describes the state of hope and grief he has endured in the two decades since his father, Jaballa, was kidnapped by Qaddafi's regime in 1990. Imprisoned and kept isolated from other prisoners, Jaballa managed to send only a handful of letters to his family before he disappeared without trace. To this day, no-one is sure what happened to him, although it is likely that he died in a massacre at Abu Salim pris ...more
Was he suited as the young husband of my mother, or as my father? "The body of my father is gone," this author writes,"but his place is here and occupied by something tha ...more
I'll be writing a full review on my blog once my mind takes it all in. ...more
|The History Book ...: * WE ARE OPEN - BOTM - THE RETURN: FATHERS, SONS, AND THE LAND IN BETWEEN - GLOSSARY THREAD - (Spoiler Thread)||25||101||Aug 09, 2020 08:10AM|
|The History Book ...: * WE ARE OPEN - BOTM - THE RETURN: FATHERS, SONS, AND THE LAND IN BETWEEN - DISCUSSION THREAD - (No Spoilers, Please)||76||122||Aug 18, 2019 01:16PM|
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|Play Book Tag: The Return by Hysham Matar - 5 stars||1||10||Feb 18, 2017 05:14AM|