Other books byHisham Matar
Anatomy of a Disappearance
This mesmerizing literary novel is written with all the emotional precision and intimacy that have won Hisham Matar tremendous international recognition. In a voice that is delicately wrought and beautifully tender, he asks: When a loved one disappears, how does that absence shape the lives of those who are left? “A haunting novel, exquisitely written and psychologically rich.”—The Washington Post Nuri is a young boy when his mother dies. It seems that nothing will fill the emptiness her death leaves behind in the Cairo apartment he shares with his father—until they meet Mona, sitting in her yellow swimsuit by the pool of the Magda Marina hotel. As soon as Nuri sees Mona, the rest of the world vanishes. But it is Nuri’s father with whom Mona falls in love and whom she eventually marries. Their happiness consumes Nuri to the point where he wishes his father would disappear. Nuri will, however, soon regret what he’s wished for. When his father, a dissident in exile from his homeland, is abducted under mysterious circumstances, the world that Nuri and his stepmother share is shattered. And soon they begin to realize how little they knew about the man they both loved. “At once a probing mystery of a father’s disappearance and a vivid coming-of-age story . . . This novel is compulsively readable.”—The Plain Dealer “Studded with little jewels of perception, deft metaphors and details that illuminate character or set a scene.”—The New York Times “One of the most moving works based on a boy’s view of the world.”—Newsweek “Elegiac . . . [Hisham Matar] writes of a son’s longing for a lost father with heartbreaking acuity.”—Newsday Don’t miss the conversation between Hisham Matar and Hari Kunzru at the back of the book. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE Chicago Tribune • The Daily Beast • The Independent • The Guardian • The Daily Telegraph • Toronto Sun • The Irish Times Look for special features inside. Join the Circle for author chats and more.
The Wedding of Zein
“The Wedding of Zein” unfolds in the same village on the upper Nile where Tayeb Salih’s tragic masterpiece Season of Migration to the North is set. Here, however, the story that emerges through the overlapping, sometimes contradictory voices of the villagers is comic. Zein is the village idiot, and everyone in the village is dumbfounded when the news goes around that he will be getting married—Zein the freak, Zein who burst into laughter the moment he was born and has kept women and children laughing ever since, Zein who lost all his teeth at six and whose face is completely hairless, Zein married at last? Zein’s particular role in the life of the village has been the peculiar one of falling in love again and again with girls who promptly marry another man. It would be unheard of for him to get married himself. In Tayeb Salih’s wonderfully agile telling, the story of how this miracle came to be is one that engages the tensions that exist in the village, or indeed in any community: tensions between the devout and the profane, the poor and the propertied, the modern and the traditional. In the end, however, Zein’s ridiculous good luck augurs an ultimate reconciliation, opening a prospect of a world made whole. Salih’s classic novella appears here with two of his finest short stories, “The Doum Tree of Wad Hamid” and “A Handful of Dates.”