A Month in Siena by Hisham Matar
FROM THE PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING AND MAN BOOKER-SHORTLISTED AUTHOR
'Everybody should get to spend a month with Mr. Matar, looking at paintings' Zadie Smith
'Sparkles with brilliant observations on art and architecture, friendship and loss' Guardian
When Hisham Matar was nineteen years old he came across the Sienese School of painting for the first time. In the year in which Matar's life was shattered by the disappearance of his father the work of the great artists of Siena seemed to offer him a sense of hope.
Over the years since then, Matar's feelings towards these paintings would deepen and, as he says, 'Siena began to occupy the sort of uneasy reverence the devout might feel towards Mecca or Rome or Jerusalem'. A Month in Siena is the encounter, twenty-five years later, between the writer and the city he had worshipped from afar. It is a dazzling evocation of an extraordinary place and its effect on the writer's life.
It is an immersion in painting, a consideration of grief and a profoundly moving contemplation of the relationship between art and the human condition.
'Bewitching . .. Meditating on art, history and the relationship between them, this is both a portrait of a city and an affirmation of life's quiet dignities in the face of loss' The Economist, Books of the Year
'An exquisite, deeply affecting book' Evening Standard
'A dazzling exploration of art's impact on his life and writing, and a moving contemplation of grief' Financial Times
'Breathtaking' New Statesman