Hisham Matar was born in New York in 1970 and spent his childhood in Tripoli and Cairo before moving to London.
Hisham Matar is already working on a second novel
He studied architecture at Goldsmith's College and in 1990, his father - a Libyan dissident living in Cairo - was kidnapped and taken back to Tripoli.
He was imprisoned and tortured and there has been no word since 1995.
Thought not directly autobiographical, his debut novel In The Country of Men has its narrator as a man in exile looking back on his Libyan childhood.
Matar has lived in London since 1986. In The Country of Men is the only debut novel to make this year's Man Booker Prize shortlist.
He is now working on his second novel, which is set between Cairo and London.