Friday, May 13, 2011

Anatomy of a Disappearance by Hisham Matar

Anatomy of a Disappearance by Hisham Matar centres around a young boy named Nuri whose mother dies, leaving behind a loneliness he thinks will never vanish. Then he meets Mona on a summer vacation and is swept away. Mona falls in love with and marries Nuri's father, beginning a complex story about love and lust, as Nuri's wish to have Mona all to himself is satisfied when his father disappears. As Nuri and Mona attempt to piece together what happened, they both begin to learn how very little they knew about the person they loved.

Anatomy of a Disappearance is a mysterious and thought-provoking story, Matar lures you along, enchanting you with writing that is subtle but intelligent. In a way the novel reminded me of the title story in Deborah Willis' collection, Vanishing and Other Stories, for the questions and emptiness the father leaves behind when he disappears. Usually, I try to separate the author from the novel, but in this case it is impossible. Matar's own childhood began in a rich, beautiful house filled with servants but after the bloody Libyan revolution his father, a political dissident, vanished- a story which is very familiar to Nuri's life. Matar perfectly captures Nuri's conflicted feelings, his overwhelming longing to know what happened to his father, and it is probably because he was able to draw from his own tragic experiences.

Anatomy of a Disappearance is a quiet book, a calmly told story of what happens when a boy's world gets turned upside down, as not one but two parents leave him. Never overwhelming, this is a short but thoughtful novel. Matar's simple yet eloquent prose submerges the reader into a moving story about the complexities of growing up and the shape that an absence leaves behind.

Release Date: March 3rd, 2011
Pages: 256
Source: ARC From Publisher 
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1 comment:

  1. I love the cover and this sounds so interesting and different. Great review.


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