Hisham Matar | Credit: Courtesy

Even when the galleries must stay closed, the minds at a great art museum remain open. For evidence of this, look no further than the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s Parallel Stories program, which continues this week with author Hisham Matar in discussion with Patsy Hicks, the SBMA’s Director of Education. Matar won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Biography with his memoir The Return.

On Sunday, he will read from and talk about his latest, an elegant, meditative blend of memoir and art criticism called A Month in Siena. Following the experience detailed in The Return — a devastating trip to Libya in search of evidence concerning his father, who was kidnapped and is presumed to have been executed by the Qaddafi regime — Matar traveled to Siena, Italy, where he immersed himself in contemplation of Sienese School Renaissance paintings.

To join this free online event, which takes place Sunday, August 23, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., get a virtual ticket at sbma.net.

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