‘The Return’: Hisham Matar’s Greatest Book So Far

& Arablit

This review first ran on BookWitty, a new social-lit site for readers, authors, and publishers:

fatherssonsAll the books on Libya’s modern history “could fit neatly on a couple of shelves,” Hisham Matar writes in his new memoir The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land In Between.

Whether or not that’s strictly true, there are reasons why historians have been relatively silent on the country: Libya’s recent rulers have not been kind to investigative writers. After Danish journalist Knud Holmboe published his 1931 indictment of Italian colonial rule, Desert Encounter, his book was banned and he was killed, allegedly at the order of the Italians. Matar’s grandfather Hamed was apparently arrested by the Italians and escaped, but no record of these arrests was kept. During the forty-two-year reign of Muammar Ghaddafi, dozens of writers were censored, imprisoned, or killed. Documents were falsified, hidden, and destroyed.

The Return doesn’t present…

View original post 947 more words

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s