Your NPR news source

Meet the Author: Hisham Matar, "Anatomy of a Disappearance"

SHARE Meet the Author: Hisham Matar, "Anatomy of a Disappearance"
Meet the Author: Hisham Matar, "Anatomy of a Disappearance"

Cover of Hisham Matar’s “Anatomy of a Disappearance” (detail)


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.

The Latest
WBEZ’s annual list of 80-plus markets across the metro Chicago area, including this season’s programming and available prepared food offerings.
With legal troubles behind him, the Chicago native will play the Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash Festival on Sunday — his first performance in the area in over 10 years.
As her three-year tenure comes to a close, Jessie Montgomery reminisces over her time with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and shares her inspirations.
Some residents and business owners are happy to see the traffic and noise leave and for the community to regain access to green space. Others are sorry to lose the excitement and crowds.
Looking for a retreat in or near the city? Here are 10 trails, parks, forest preserves, urban gardens and lesser-known spots to escape the hustle and hurry.