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Girton College 57th Founders’ Memorial Lecture with Hisham Matar: Life and Work

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Entrance is free, places are limited, reservations required. RSVP via email: or tel. 01223 (3)38951.

Former Visiting Fellow, Hisham Matar, will be speaking at Girton College for the 57th Founders’ Memorial Lecture about his life and work.

Doors open at 5:45pm for 6pm


Hisham Matar is a Libyan Author, born in New York City, brought up in Tripoli and Cairo, and has spent most of his life in England, now residing in both Britain and America. He was awarded the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in ‘Biography or Autobiography’ for a memoir The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between.

His two novels also embrace the political and personal dimensions of repression, abduction and exile. The first, In The Country of Men, set in Tripoli in 1979, was short-listed for the 2006 Man Booker Prize. The second, The Anatomy of a Disappearance, partly written as a Visiting Fellow at Girton, was one of the best books of 2011 for The Independent, Chicago Tribune and many others.

An astute political commentator on Libyan affairs, a disarming interpreter of love and loss, The Guardian’s Rachel Cooke observes: ‘Matar has a reserve that only makes his way with intimacy all the more moving’. Her colleague, Lisa Appignanesi , describes Hisham as a ‘brilliant observer of the inner world’ [who] ‘writes about the intricacies of love in the family like no-one else’.

The Founders’ Memorial Lecture, established in 1928, celebrates the values that underpinned the Foundation of Girton College: equality and inclusion, excellence in diversity, radical thinking and an ethic of care.

This talk is part of the Girton College series.

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