Hisham Matar, winner of The Biographer’s Club Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize 2016, has been awarded the Rathbones Folio Prize 2017 for The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between. We’re thrilled to see so much recognition for The Return, which has also won this year’s Pulitzer Prize for Biography and the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award at the PEN America Literary Awards.
The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between is an intensely personal tale of loss. Hisham Matar was nineteen 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, he 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 Rathbones Folio Prize winner was chosen by judges Ahdaf Souief, Rachel Holmes and Lucy Hughes-Hallett. They said ‘The Return shows what a novelist at the top of his game can do with non-fiction. It gives the reader the same aesthetic, the same satisfaction of the great literary works that enter our lives and stay with us forever.’