Points of View

In the Country of Men: a Novel
by Hisham Matar

“The truth couldn’t be kept away, it was cunning, sly-natured, seeping through at its own indifferent pace.” In Hisham Matar’s debut novel, a Libyan boy must come to terms with difficult truths about Libya, loyalty, and truth when his father disappears. On the surface a story of the violence and absurdity of life during the rule of Muammar al-Qaddafi, In the Country of Men describes the politics of childhood more than the politics of nations. Just as the plot brilliantly unfolds in unpredictable ways, we are catapulted forward to the next decade. We are left to reflect on the ties that bind us all—the universal embarrassments and frustrations of childhood, the challenge of constructing meaning from memory, and the presence of unavoidable truths.

New York: Dial Press Trade Paperbacks, 2006


Born in New York in 1970, Hisham Matar spent his youth in Tripoli, Cairo, and London He holds a master’s degree from Goldsmiths, University of London. His essays have appeared in the Asharq Alawsat, The Independent, The Guardian, the Times (London), and the New York Times. His most recent novel, Anatomy of a Disappearance, was published in 2011. He has lived in London since 1986.

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