Born in New York City to Libyan parents, Matar spent his childhood in Tripoli and Cairo and has lived most of his adult life in London. His debut novel, In the Country of Men, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and The Guardian First Book Award, and won numerous international prizes, including the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize and a Commonwealth First Book Award. His second novel, Anatomy of a Disappearance, was published to great acclaim in 2011.
His memoir, The Return, was published in 2016 and was the recipient of awards including the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, the PEN/Jean Stein Award and Germany’s Geschwister Scholl Prize. It was one of the New York Times top 10 books of the year. Matar’s work has been translated into 30 languages.
Tonkin re-founded the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2001, co-judging and steering it until 2015, when it merged with the Man Booker International Prize. Tonkin is Special Adviser to the Man Booker International Prize, which he chaired in 2016.
He writes on books and arts for international media including The Economist, New Scientist and The Spectator. His critical guide to global fiction, The 100 Best Novels in Translation, appeared in summer 2018 and was praised by Ian McEwan as ‘a brilliant and extremely useful guide’.
*Please note, the date of this event has changed from that previously advertised.
For ages 16+
Visit Kader Attia: The Museum of Emotion, now open at Hayward Gallery, to consider the artist’s work in relation to Hisham Matar’s writing.
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