Sunday, June 15, 2008

Congrats to Rawi Hage -- Canadian winner of the IMPAC

I'm so pleased to read that Rawi Hage was awarded the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (which The Globe and Mail calls 'the world's most lucrative literary prize for a single work of English fiction.' I read De Niro's Game last summer and was alternately blown away by his writing and depressed by the ongoing, unimaginable-to-those-of-us-living-in-comfort-and-security conditions he describes of life in war-torn Beirut -- unimaginable, that is, until a writer of Hage's scope forces us to at least try our armchair best to form the mental images of suffering. As the second Canadian to win this prize, he will certain expand the world's conception of our literature -- I love Alistair MacLeod's No Great Mischief but it falls rather comfortably into the history-encompassing, geography-based, rurally-dominated works many expect from us (altho' I'll rapidly add that MacLeod does really interesting work around class and masculinity and labour).

Hage's novel also challenges those Paris-o-philes among us, broadening our view of the city as much as, if not more than Nancy Huston's Mark of an Angel and, to a lesser extent, Lauren B. Davis' The Radiant City. In fact, I'm thinking that if I can only carve out a package of time once I get past the stack of unread books on my desk, beside my armchair, and next to the bed, I'd like to read these three together one week this summer. If only technology, as well as providing us with Spam, cellphone rings in our favourite restaurant, and lemon-scented plug-in air fresheners, could also allow for the expansion of an hour here and there (let me quickly qualify that request by saying I'd get to pick the hour -- whew! shades of Five Children and It, for any Nesbit readers out there . . .)

2 comments:

  1. Lovely to have my book mentioned in the same paragraph as Huston and Hage. Hope you enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm thrilled to have you stop by and comment, Lauren, and yes, I very much enjoyed your novel, enough to be looking forward to rereading it. It complements Hage's book in many ways, especially given that both novels move through Paris and Lebanon, Paris being arguably a much more redemptive setting in your work.

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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