Monday, March 26, 2007

Insight Into Islamic Incidents

Hisham Matar seems to derive the menacing mood, if not actual events, in his first novel from his own childhood, which was spent in the shadow of political brutality. His father, a businessman, suddenly found himself on a Libyan wanted list—probably for no reason other than that he was well-off and had been exposed to other societies through his travels. He managed to escape to Egypt with his wife and two sons. One day in 1990, he went to answer the doorbell at his home in exile in Cairo, and never returned. Three years later, he smuggled out a letter to his family from the notorious Abu Salim prison in Libya. He has not been heard from since.


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