Jun 11, 2008
Rawi Hage was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and lived through nine years of that country’s civil war. He immigrated to Canada in 1992. He is a writer, a visual artist, and a curator whose debut novel, De Niro’s Game (2006), was shortlisted for the 2006 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the 2006 Governor General’s Award for English fiction. It won the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. House of Anansi Press published Rawi’s eagerly anticipated second novel, Cockroach, in 2008. He lives in Montreal where I caught up with him at the Blue Met International Literary Festival.
We talk about living in war conditions, New York, the movie Deer Hunter and Russian roulette, art as memory, the absurdity of war, the dangers of organized religion, fundamentalism, politics and the writer, canoeing and moose, women’s clothing, Arabic poetry and the influence of fathers.