The Return: Fathers, Sons, and the Land in Between

The Return: Fathers, Sons, and the Land in Between

2016 • 288 pages


Average rating4.2


If there was ever an existential memoir, this would be it. Matar has a beautiful way of writing, and he weaves together his family's history, their exile across many lands and many years, Libyan political history, and his own quest to find out what happened to his father in a lyrical yet grounded way.

Some of my favorite quotes:
- “The last light stretched long and yet as bright as the skin of a ripe orange.”
- “Revolutions have their momentum, and once you join the current it is very difficult to escape the rapids. Revolutions are not solid gates through which nations pass but a force comparable to a storm that sweeps all before it.”
- “I realize now that my walks, whether taken to pass the time or to better acquaint myself with a foreign city, or conducted in a hurry—to post a letter, to catch a train or on the occasion I was late for an appointment—all took place under the vague suspicion that I might somehow come upon myself, that is to say, that other self who lives in harmony with his surroundings, who exists, like a chapter in a book, in the right place, not torn out and left to make sense on its own.”

March 18, 2017Report this review