Libyan writer Hisham Matart wins 2017 Pulitzer Prize for his book The Return


The Libyan writer Hisham Matar has won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for his book The Return in the category of Biography Books.

Matart received his prize on Monday in a ceremonial event.

The Arabic version of the English-written “The Return” book will soon be published in Arabic by Al-Shurooq Publishing House.

Pulitzer Prize is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature, and musical composition in the United States. It was established in 1917 by provisions in the will of American (Hungarian-born) Joseph Pulitzer who had made his fortune as a newspaper publisher, and is administered by Columbia University in New York City.

The Return won “Prix du Livre Etranger” (Foreign Book Prize) for 2017 in France for his book in January this year.

It also won the US PEN Literary Award ($75.000) at the beginning of April this year.

The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between is a memoir of the author’s journey in search of answers behind his father’s abduction by Colonel Gaddafi 22 years earlier when Matar was 19.

The book also won the Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize, awarded at the Biographers’ Club prize dinner on November 15th, 2016, at the Savile Club in London.

Hisham Matar is a Libyan writer who was born in 1970; his debut novel “In the Country of Men” was shortlisted for the 2006 Man Booker Prize.

Moreover, his essays have appeared in the Asharq al-Awsat, The Independent, The Guardian, The Times and The New York Times.

His second novel, Anatomy of a Disappearance, was published on 3 March 2011. He currently lives and writes in London.

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