Author Rawi Hage, born in Beirut, Lebanon and currently living in Montreal, Canada, has been awarded the International Impac Dublin Literary Award for his first novel De Niros Game (2007, Steerforth Press). His work was selected over seven other authors and has received a prize of 100,000 euros. The International Impac Dublin Literary Award is the considered the world’s most lucrative prize in the field of literature.
Hages’s book, De Niro’s Game, revolves around two childhood friends growing up in war-torn Beirut who must choose between self-imposed exile or a life of crime at home. The book is described by the publisher as being “Told in a distinctive, captivating voice that fuses vivid cinematic imagery and page-turning plot with the measured strength and beauty of Arabic poetry, De Niro’s Game is an explosive portrait of life in a war zone, and a powerful meditation on what comes after.”
Hage, who lived through nine years of civil war in Beirut before emigrating to Canada said, “After a long journey of war, displacement and separation, I feel that I am one of the few wanderers who is privileged enough to have been rewarded, and for that I am very grateful.”
Hage was chosen from 137 novelists nominated by 162 public libraries in 45 countries across the globe. Other finalists for this year’s competition, this year’s list of judges and previous winners can be found on the Impac Dublin website.