Anatomy Of A Disappearance: Summary

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Hisham Matar a Libyan writer based his personal experiences in his famous novel Anatomy of a Disappearance. Absence and longing are powerfully depicted in Hisham Matar’s novel. Matar opens the book with the protagonist, Nuri el-alfi as a twelve-year old boy living in Cairo with his father, following his mother’ death. The book follows the life of Nuri el-Alfi and his family through his narration in Cairo, Egypt. In the beginning of the book, we discover that Nuri is only eight years old when his mother dies. His relationship with his father, Kamal Pasha el-Alfi, is complex. After his mothers death, Nuri becomes lonely in the Cairo apartment he shares with his estranged father and their servant Naima, who treats him like her own son. While they Nuri and his father are one vacation in Alexandria, they encounter a young European woman by the name of Mona. She catches the eyes of both Nuri and his father. Mona becomes Nuri’s first crush and his father’s new love interest, which he later marries. Mona immediately becomes both a mother substitute and an adolescent sexual torment, which he tries to balance these feelings throughout the…show more content…
el-Alfi. These tensions leads to a sexual encounter between Nuri and Mona, when she begins to kiss him one night. This angers Naima, the servant, because of how inappropriate it is to Mr. el-Alfi. Afterwards, Nuri returns to school while Mona moves to London. The book concentrates on places such as Geneva, Paris, London and Cairo in the 1970s, to focus on the conflicts of coming of age to an adolescent like Nuri who has gone through losses of his parents. Traveling becomes a growing theme throughout the book, it is used as a means of escaping the past for Nuri. After his mother’s death, his father’s disappearance and his sexual encounter with Mona, he travels away from them all and at the end returns back to his apartment in Cairo, where he grew up
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