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Diary

Hisham Matar: Writing with the Horror

17 May 2017
... In November​ , a few days after Donald Trump won the presidential election, I flew to Arkansas to give a reading at the Fayetteville Public Library. I landed just before sunset. The earth was the colour of rust, the trees fiery with the end of autumn and the cattle, which grazed with seemingly no movement at all, were black. I didn’t know anyone there. A Libyan friend had written to say that there ...

He will need a raincoat

Blake Morrison: Fathers and Sons

13 July 2016
The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between 
by Hisham Matar.
Viking, 276 pp., £14.99, June 2016, 978 0 670 92333 5
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... for his father suggests – of a complex, even contradictory kind: I’m sorry you had to die To make me sorry You’re not here now. What to write if your father is neither alive nor dead, though? HishamMatar’s father, Jaballa, a prominent opponent of the Gaddafi regime, was kidnapped in Cairo in March 1990 and taken to the Abu Salim prison in Libya. Letters smuggled out to his family describing ...

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