Anatomy of a Disappearance

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Anatomy of a Disappearance
Anatomy of a Disappearance cover.jpg
First edition cover
AuthorHisham Matar
CountryUnited Kingdom
PublisherViking Press
Publication date
3 March 2011
Media typePrint (Hardback
Pages256 pp (first edition, hardback)
ISBN978-0-670-91651-1 (first edition, hardback)

Anatomy of a Disappearance is the second novel by the award-winning Libyan writer Hisham Matar, first published in 2011 by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Books.

Plot summary[edit]

The book follows the story of Nuri, a teenager living in exile with his family in Cairo. After the sudden death of his mother, he also loses his father Kamal Pasha el-Alfi who disappears in mysterious circumstances in Switzerland, and it becomes obvious that he was abducted by the regime of their country (which is never named). The young Nuri tries to come to terms with the disappearance of his father while he is living in London.


  • Nuri el-Alfi - the young teenage narrator
  • Kamal Pasha el-Alfi "Baba" "Father" - Nuri's father
  • Ihsan "Mother" - Nuri's mother
  • Mona - Nuri's Stepmother
  • Taleb - Kamal Pasha's best friend
  • Hydar - Kamal Pasha's best friend
  • Naima - el-Alfi's young Egyptian maid
  • Hass - Kamal Pasha's Swiss confidant
  • Fadhil - Nuri's uncle
  • Salwa - Nuri's aunt
  • Souad - Nuri's aunt