Hisham Matar’s ‘The Return’ Makes Costa Book Awards Shortlist

Arabic Literature (in English)

The Costa Book Awards have announced their 2016 shortlists; in the four-book biography section is Libyan author Hisham Matar’s The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between:

returnThe shortlists — which come in five sections of four books each — made waves for being “female dominated,” by shortlisting a somewhat larger proportion of women (14, to six men). The Telegraph somehow ascribed this to “the internet.”

In any case, the three judges of the Biography category — biographer and journalist Matthew Dennison; author Mary Loudon; and author and critic Sarra Manning — called The Return, “A brilliant, moving and beautiful book about family, longing and exile.”

The full Biography shortlist:

  • Keggie Carew for Dadland: A Journey into Uncharted Territory (Chatto & Windus)
  • John Guy for Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years (Viking)
  • Hisham Matar for The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between (Viking)
  • Sylvia Patterson for I’m Not with…

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