Hisham Matar (born 1970) is a Libyan writer currently living in the United Kingdom, whose debut novel In the Country of Men was shortlisted for the 2006 Man Booker Prize.
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Blue Metropolis Festival (2013)
Hisham Matar in interview with Paul Kennedy of CBC Radio 1, April 26, 2013, broadcast as "Return to Tripoli", CBC Radio 1 on May 14, 2013.
- Premeditated details arrive, when you're writing, and my instinct is always to reach for the nearest weapon.
- at 37:50
- I noticed that my problems occur when I try to dominate the text, when I try to ask it to be something, or to ask it to fit into some sort of structure, or when I ask it to compliment my ego, or all of these things. That's really where all my problems start from. Where it's going very well, is where I have sort of surrendered to it, you know, where I am behind the text, and I am watching, like a dancer who's following another dancer, and just watching where it might go next. All I want to be is, I want to be as ready and as available as possible for it. That seems to me all I really need to do.
- at 42:00
- I think of novelists that I really return to and admire, you can almost sense that the book is somehow ahead of them, just a little bit ahead of them, no? You could write from the front: you could pull the book; there are masters that do that, and you can admire the architecture of it. […] I suppose what I look for as a reader is a writer who's risky, who's putting themselves in a position that's vulnerable, where the text knows a little bit more, is a bit ahead of them. And so I aspire to write those books, and that's why I suppose I put myself in that position.
- at 43:30