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--but Suleiman is sure 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?
Whispers and fears intensify around Suleiman: his best friend's father disappears and is next seen interrogated on state television; a man parks his car outside the house every day and asks strange questions; and his mother frantically burns his father's books. As Suleiman begins to wonder whether his father has gone for good, it feels as if the walls of his home will break with the secrets that are being held within.
In deceptively simple prose Hisham Matar has written a novel of devastating power. A deeply affecting story of love and betrayal, In the Country of Men goes to the very heart of the cruelties and frailties of human experience.