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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography, 2017

Hisham Matar was 19 when his father was kidnapped and taken to prison in Libya. He would never see him again. Twenty-two years later, after the fall of Gaddafi, Hisham was finally able to return to his homeland for the first time.

In this heartbreaking, illuminating memoir, he describes his return to a country and a family he thought he would never see again. The Return is at once a universal and an intensely personal tale of loss. It is an exquisite meditation on history, politics and art. It's the story of what it is to be human.

©2016 Hisham Matar (P)2016 Penguin Books Ltd

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  • Suswati
  • 04-18-17

Deeply moving, the horrors of separation

A well deserved Pulitzer Prize for Hisham Matar, who speaks bravely about the terrible experiences his family faced under the Gaddafi regime and not knowing the fate of his diplomat father. It is gripping and terrifying to hear how easy it was for the authorities to arrest and kill Libyans at will even on foreign soil and the complicity of western countries that allowed it to happen. Truly a harrowing and stirring listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • FJF
  • 02-06-17

brilliant, beautiful and intimate

having Hisham himself as the reader, really transforms this story into a personal conversation.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anthony
  • 12-18-16

Search for justice and closure - a Libyan story

Beautifully written, moving, tenacious story of a son's search for what happened to his father in Libya's political prisons. A story of his search for the truth and closure, and the betrayals he learned about along the way.

Beautifully read - the pronunciation of Leeebiya (Libya) will stay with me forever.

So too will the story of the return by the author's mother, week after week, to the political prison to bring lovingly prepared food for her incarcerated husband,... And what became of the bodies and bones of those who were killed by the Gaddafi regime ...

Autobiographical, deeply human story...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-16-17

Good but drawn out

Interesting but somewhat drawn out, written by professional writer and somewhat literary in style. Actual story was interesting though just took a while to get through.

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  • Richard
  • 08-06-17

Let down by poor recording

A great book well narrated but is spoiled by poor editing - the final word of each chapter is cut short by the start of the mew chapter. I am suspicious that some paragraphs of recording were also cut out. Not the quality i am used to or expect.

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  • Lorraine
  • 08-04-17

I am in love with this author/narrator's voice!

I could listen to Hisham Matar's gently accented voice all day and all night. He is a true wordsmith. This is a stunning story with pearls of wisdom and beauty hidden in the deep sadness of loss and despair.

(Is there a production error? Is chapter 14 repeated, or did I do something strange when I downloaded it?)

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  • Judy
  • 04-29-17

Loved it

Compelling true story written by a man with a fabulous poetic sensibility. Hearing it read by the author himself added another dimension, his voice is thick with bitterness and melancholy. An insight into Libyan history too. The male characters are rich and real, but we only get fleeting glimpses of the women and I'm left wondering about them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Fiona O'Connell
  • 05-08-17

A powerful memoir - better in written format

I had a written copy of this book as well as the audio version and would recommend the written format - definitely 4 star. The book moves between cities and decades, often within a chapter, which works well in the written format but was confusing in the audiobook. I also feel the beautiful prose is better pondered in the written form. Maybe it was just my download but a large section of chapter 14 was repeated.

This book is a wonderful testament to Hisham's father, family and country. A story of love and loss and Libya's history. Highly recommend.