De Niro's Game by Rawi Hage
"There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide."
In Rawi Hage's astonishing and unforgettable novel, this famous quote by Camus becomes a touchstone for two young men caught in Lebanon's civil war. Bassam and George are childhood best friends who have grown to adulthood in wartorn Beirut. Now they must choose their futures: to stay in the city and consolidate power through crime; or to go into exile abroad, alienated from the only existence they have known. Bassam chooses one path: Obsessed with leaving Beirut, he embarks on a series of petty crimes to finance his departure. Meanwhile, George builds his power in the underworld of the city and embraces a life of military service, crime for profit, killing, and drugs.
Told in the voice of Bassam, De Niro's Game is a beautiful, explosive portrait of a contemporary young man shaped by a lifelong experience of war.
Rawi Hage brilliantly fuses vivid, jump-cut cinematic imagery with the measured strength and beauty of Arabic poetry. His style mimics a world gone mad: so smooth and apparently sane that its razor-sharp edges surprise and cut deeply. A powerful meditation on life and death in a war zone, and what comes after.
About the Author
Rawi Hage was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and lived through nine years of the Lebanese civil war. He immigrated to Canada in 1992.
He is a writer, a visual artist, and a curator. His writings have appeared in Fuse Magazine, Mizna, Jouvert, The Toronto Review, Montreal Serai, and Al-Jadid. His visual works have been shown in galleries and museums around the world including the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Musée de la civilisation de Québec.
Rawi's 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. De Niro's Game is currently shortlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.
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- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: House of Anansi (May 1, 2008)
- ISBN-10: 1905847386
- ISBN-13: 978-1905847389
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