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Commonwealth Writers' Prize, Europe and South Asia
2007 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
2006 Man Booker Prize Shortlist
On a white-hot day in Tripoli, Libya, in the summer of 1979, nine-year-old Suleiman is shopping in the market square with his mother. His father is away on business except that he is sure that he has just seen him, standing across the street in a pair of dark glasses. But why isn't he waving? And why doesn't he come home when he knows Suleiman's mother is falling apart?
In the Country of Men is the story of a young boy growing up in a terrifying and bewildering world where his best friend's father disappears and is next seen on state television at a public execution; where a mysterious man sits outside the house all day and asks strange questions; where his mother burns all their books when it seems his father has finally disappeared for good.
Soon the whispers and fears, secrets and lies will become so intense that Suleiman can bear them no longer, and, in his terrified effort to save his family, he may end up betraying his friends, his parents and ultimately himself
"A master of mood and feeling...The final chapter of this beautifully rendered novel is a string quartet of emotions...Matar tells his tale in a prose that is perfectly lean." - The Scotsman