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Exiled Libyan author Hisham Matar will tonight deliver the opening address at this year’s Sydney Writers’ Festival. Matar’s visit comes one month before Libya is set to hold its first democratic elections, following the successful Arab Spring uprising and toppling of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. In his latest novel, Matar explores the kidnapping and disappearance of an exiled dissident. It’s a story drawn directly from his own life. Matar’s father was abducted by Gaddafi’s agents in Cairo in 1990 and his fate to this day remains unknown.

In his latest novel, Matar explores the kidnapping and disappearance of an exiled dissident. It’s a story drawn directly from his own life. Matar’s father was abducted by Gaddafi’s agents in Cairo in 1990 and his fate to this day remains unknown. Inside an old pier warehouse at Sydney’s wharves the author sat down with reporter Calliste Weitenberg to speak about Libya’s upcoming elections, its fragile future and his own experiences of loss, exile and revolution.

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