Hisham Matar


Hisham Matar was born in New York but grew up in Tripoli and Cairo. He has lived in London since 1986, where he went to boarding school and then trained as an architect. His father was kidnapped by Libya’s secret police, his friends have been hanged and his relatives have been jailed.

His semi-autobiographical novel, In the Country of Men, has been shortlisted in the Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

In the Country of Men is set in Libya and is told from the point of view of a young boy growing up in a terrifying and bewildering world where, among other things, his best friend’s father disappears and is next seen on state television at a public execution.

The novel has been described by one reviewer as “the only novel, by a Libyan in any language, [which] tackled directly the atrocities of Gaddafi against the Libyan people.”

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