An alumnus of Goldsmiths, University of London has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Biography.
Hisham Matar, who completed the first ever MA Design Futures course at Goldsmiths, received the award at a ceremony at Columbia University in New York on 25 May.
Matar’s book ‘The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between’ describes his search for his father – a political dissident and opponent of the Gaddafi regime who had been kidnapped and imprisoned 22 years previously.
A Libyan-American writer, Matar spent much of his early childhood in Tripoli with his parents before being forced to flee to Egypt when his father was accused of being a reactionary to the Libyan regime.
While studying at Goldsmiths in 1990, Matar first heard of his father’s kidnapping in Cairo and he has been missing ever since.
‘The Return’ charts his return to Tripoli alongside his mother and wife, and what they found on their journey.
Judges described the biography as an ‘exquisite meditation on history, politics and art’ and a ‘universal tale of loss, love and family life’.
Matar was presented with the $15,000 prize by Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger.