Monday, March 21, 2011

Libya - Fiction

Libya-Fiction is the catalog subject heading for novels set in Libya. You would enter libya and fiction in the FindIt search box and then select subject in the drop down menu. And then you would find the 2007 award-winning title - In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar, a semi-autobiographical piece about growing up in Libya. It's a powerful, poignant tale that conveys the horrors that happen to anyone living under an oppressive regime. In this case, a young boy with a revolutionary father and an alcoholic mother is living in Libya under the dictatorship of Col. Qaddafi. The book is a condemnation of the evils that men do in the name of patriarchy and despotic revolutions.

Matar was 20 when two men arrived at the family home in Cairo. His father answered the door, and was never seen again. The men were probably from Egypt's secret police who then handed him over to Libya. Matar's father was a member of Libya's intellectual middle class, a successful businessman who, as a pro-democracy activist, had been forced to live in semi-permanent exile in Egypt. Matar's most recent book, Anatomy of a Disappearance, which the Library does not yet have, is about a father whose disappearance haunts his son.

Matar said recently in The Guardian that the " UN security council resolution is an extraordinary achievement. It is unrelenting in its commitment to saving lives, yet nuanced enough to take into account Libya's sensitivity to foreign intrusion - a result of its exceptionally brutal colonial experience under the Italians - and seems committed to Libyan sovereignty and political independence." (You can read The Guardian through the Library's subscription to Factiva.)

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