Nuri is a young boy when his mother dies. When he meets Mona by the pool of the Magda Marina hotel, the rest of the world vanishes. But it is Nuri’s father with whom Mona falls in love and marries. When his father, long a dissident in exile from his homeland, is taken under mysterious circumstances, Nuri and his stepmother’s world is shattered as they begin to realize how little they knew about the man they both loved. In a voice that is delicately wrought and beautifully tender, Hisham Matar asks when a loved one disappears, how does their absence shape the lives of those who are left?
Hisham Matar was born in New York City to Libyan parents. His first novel, In the Country of Men, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Matar lives in London and serves as an associate professor at Barnard College in New York City.
Recorded Thursday, September 22, 2011 at the Newberry Library.