David Austen IMG_5789

THE BOYS: An Adventure (2023)

Words Hisham Matar Drawings David Austen

The Boys: an Adventure is the result of an unusual correspondence between two friends, the artist David Austen and the writer Hisham Matar.

It began in March 2020, as London closed down, with the exchange of a drawing and a chapter via WhatsApp. Three years later, the conversation has grown into two distinct yet connected bodies of work: a novella from Hisham and a suite of 73 gouache drawings from David. The relationship between text and image is not illustrative; rather, the two share a temperament, and a sense of unfolding momentum.

The Boys: an Adventure is revealed for the first time at an exhibition
in Edinburgh, with Austen’s complete suite of 73 drawings exhibited alongside Matar’s text, which plays in the gallery throughout the day, read by the actor Khalid Abdalla.

The words and pictures have been published together as an artist’s book celebrating their collaboration, which is now available.


First published by Ingleby, Edinburgh in 2023

Printed in an edition of 750 copies. ISBN 978-1-7391739-0-6

All words © Hisham Matar, 2023 All images © David Austen, 2023

The moral right of Hisham Matar to be identified as the author has been asserted.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the written permission
of the copyright holders and of the publisher.

Design by A Practice for Everyday Life Artwork photography by Andy Keate Printed by Graphius, Belgium