Wednesday, December 27, 2017

the last book I ever read (The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between, excerpt nine)

from 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner in Biography The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between by Hisham Matar:

The Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel is in Knightsbridge. The only thing I knew about it was that long ago, when it had a different name, the Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa and the Mexican poet Octavio Paz used to meet there. We arrived ten minutes early and took one of the round tables for four in the café in the lobby. It was to one side, with a good view of the entrance. I am not sure if my recollections of the hotel lobby are accurate or if they have been affected by my state at the time. Either way, this is how I remember it. In the lounge, heavy Arab businessmen sat in gigantic armchairs. Suited English architects or developers leant over them, pointing to spreadsheets and architectural plans. The more these prospecting Englishmen bent over, the tighter their neckties became and the redder their faces grew.

Although neither of us felt like it, Ziad and I ordered tea.

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