Hisham Matar

The Weiss International Fellow in Literature and the Arts & Adjunct Associate Professor in the English Department

Born in New York City to Libyan parents, Hisham Matar spent his childhood in Tripoli and Cairo and has lived most of his adult life in London. He has written for the New Yorker, the London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, The Guardian, the Financial Times, and several other publications. 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, a Commonwealth First Book Award, Premio Flaiano and Premio Gregor von Rezzori. His second novel, Anatomy of a Disappearance, was published to great acclaim in 2011. His latest book, The Return, was published in the summer of 2016 and was shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize, the Costa Biography Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography. It was one of the New York Times’ Top 10 Books of 2016 and won The Slightly Foxed First Biography Prize, the Pen/Jean Stein Award, the Pulitzer Prize in Biography, and the Rathbones Folio Prize. His work has been translated into more than 30 languages. He lives in London and New York, where he is the Weiss International Fellow in Literature and the Arts at Barnard College, Columbia University. Professor Matar is the founder and principal curator of The Barnard International Artists Series, a forum for considering the world through the works of living artists.

Professor Matar is the founder and principal curator of The Barnard International Artists Series, a forum for considering the world through the works of living artists.

Courses: 

ENGL BC3117: Fiction Writing
ENGL BC3192: Exile and Estrangement in Global Literature

Awards & Honors: 

2014: In the Country of Men selected one of “10 best novels about Africa”, The Telegraph

2013: Blue Metropolis Al Majidi Ibn Dhaher Arab Literary Prize. This is a prize for a lifetime of substantial literary achievement by an Arab writer working in any genre and in any language. 

2012: Encore Award Finalist

2012: The Arab American National Museum Book Award Finalist

2011-12: Anatomy of a Disappearance named one of the best books of the year by the Chicago Tribune, The Daily Beast, The Independent, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, Toronto Sun, and the Irish Times.

2012: ‘Naima’, a short story published in the New Yorker, was selected for the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2012.

2010: Booker Trust selection for 5,000 copies to be given for free to students at the University of East Anglia

2007: The New York Times 100 Notable Books of the Year

2007: The New York Times Best Sellers List

2007: The Arab American National Museum Book Award Winner

2007: The Glen Dimplex New Writers Award (Ireland) Winner

2007: Premio Internazionale Flaiano (Italy) Winner

2007: Premio Vallombrosa Gregor von Rezzori (Italy) Winner

2007: National Book Circle Critics Finalist in Fiction

2007: The Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize Winner

2007: The Commonwealth First Book Award Europe & South Asia Winner

2007: The Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Award Finalist

2006: The Guardian First Book Award Finalist

2006: The Man Booker Prize Finalist

2005: Arts Council England, Great Britain, writing grant

Professional Affiliations: 

2013: Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature

2013: Academician for the Folio Prize

2012 – 2014: Trustee of English PEN

2011: Chair of Judges for the Caine Prize for African Writing

2010: Elected to Council of the Caine Prize for African Writing

2008: Judge for the Charles Pick Fellowship

2008: Judge for the Caine Prize for African Writing

2007 – 2010: Board of Trustees of the International Prize For Arabic Fiction

Fellowships:

2013: Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature

2012: Distinguished Visiting Writer of The Department of English and Comparative Literature at The American University in Cairo, Egypt

2012: Booker Prize Foundation Fellow at Mansfield College, University of Oxford

2012: Booker Prize Foundation Fellow at Newcastle University

2012: Fellowship at Wooster College, Ohio

2012: Ida Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor, International Writing Program, University of Iowa

2011: Zell International Writer in Residence at the University of Michigan

2011: Weiss Foundation International Fellow in Literature and the Arts and Adjunct Associate Professor of Professional Practice in the English Department, Barnard College, New York

2010: Booker Prize Foundation Fellow at University of East Anglia

2010: ‘First Story’ Writer-In-Residence   

2008: Mary Amelia Cummins Harvey Visiting Fellow at Girton College, University of Cambridge

Presentations / Recent Lectures: 

Panelist at the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life's "Narratives of Social Protest: Personal & Political" which will be held October 17th (2:10-4:00 p.m.).

Keynote lecture/reading at The Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights, 6PM, Nov 20th, at The Central Park Studios, 15 West 67th Street, New York, NY, 10023

Reading by Barnard Creative Writing Faculty on Tuesday, December 4, 2014 in Sulzberger Parlor at 7 p.m.

 

Publications: 
Novels:

In the Country of Men, Random House, 2008, ISBN 978-0-385-34043-4

Anatomy of a Disappearance, Random House, 2012, ISBN 978-0-385-34045-8

 

Selected Anthologies:

PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories (2012) [Contributor]

42 Writers for Liberty (2008) [Contributor]

Four Letter Word: New Love Letters (2007) [Contributor]

East and West (2007) [Editor]

 

Selected Introductions:

To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf (2014), Einaudi

On the Eve, Ivan Turgenev (2011), The Folio Society

The Wedding of Zein and Other Stories, Tayeb Salih (2010), New York Review Books

 

Articles, Essays and Short Stories:

The New Yorker (USA)

Granta Magazine (USA)

The LA Times (USA)

The New York Times (USA)

The Guardian (UK)

The Independent (UK)

The New Statesman (UK)

The Financial Times (UK)

The Times (UK)

Le Monde (France)

El Pais (Spain)

La Republica (Italy)

Internazionale (Italy)

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany)

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (Middle East)

Al-Shorouk (Egypt)

Contact: 

412 Barnard Hall
messages: 212-854-2116
english@barnard.edu

Office Hours: 

Fall 2016
by appointment

Education: 

M.A. Design Futures (Architecture), Goldsmiths College, University of London
 

In the News

A Conversation with Pulitzer-Prize-Winner Hisham Matar

PEN America and the National Book Critics Circle announced this week that they have nominated English professor Hisham Matar’s book, The Return: Fathers, Sons, and the Land in Between, as a finalist for their annual awards.