“There are times when my father’s absence is as heavy as a child sitting on my chest. Other times I can barely recall the exact features of his face and must bring out the photographs I keep in an old envelope in the drawer of my bedside table. There has not been a day since his sudden and mysterious vanishing that I have not been searching for him, looking in the most unlikely places. Everything and everyone, existence itself, has become an evocation, a possibility for resemblance. Perhaps this is what is meant by that brief and now almost archaic word: elegy.” So begins Matar’s remarkable new novel Anatomy of a Disappearance. His own father was ‘disappeared’ by the Gaddafi regime twenty years ago and although this novel is a brilliantly conceived work of fiction with a hero whose story is unlike Matar’s own outside of this one central element, the book’s publication coincided with family news and the uprising in Libya against the Gaddafi regime. Philippe Sands is an international lawyer and the author of several books, most recently Torture Team. His work in shaping and defining international law to protect citizens living under oppressive regimes brings an extra dimension to this discussion of Matar’s work. Please book early to avoid disappointment. Events cost £5 and include wine. Call or email the bookshop on 020 7229 1010, firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your tickets (tmspinks)
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