Adrian Turpin

Like Father, Like Son

Anatomy of a Disappearance

By

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Hisham Matar’s second novel (following the Man Booker Prize shortlisted In the Country of Men) is a Polo mint of a book: the hole in the middle gives shape to everything that surrounds it. An elegy for an absent parent, it is also the lament of an orphaned son denied the chance to outgrow his father. What it is not is an anatomy, a word that suggests the cool scientific objectivity required for a dissection. Despite the elegantly distilled prose – there is hardly a word out of place – Anatomy of a Disappearance is alive with barely suppressed feeling.

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