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It’s easy to see why Carnival made Hage one of the finalists for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize ... the strands of the story weave tightly around the reader, leaving one tangled in a web of enchantment. (Sofia Gay Concordian 2012-09-25)
The overall sense of the piece is a celebration of literature, but at the same time, Carnival is about the harsh, raw, senseless world that inspires books, driving home the fact that truth is -- unavoidably -- stranger than fiction. (Christine Mazur Winnipeg Free Press 2012-09-29)
The things that make Rawi Hage a major literary talent include freshness, gut-wrenching lyricism, boldness, emotional restraint, intellectual depth, historical sense, political subversiveness and uncompromising compassion. (T. F. Rigelhof Globe and Mail 2012-09-28)
Rawi Hage is, quite simply, a brilliant writer ... Carnival confirms Hage's status as a star in the literary firmament. (Laura Eggertson Toronto Star 2012-09-29)
Carnival is a rich and compelling read, a testament to a daring and talented novelist. (Devon Code National Post 2012-10-02)
The normally polite CanLit canon won’t prepare you for the violence, obsession, anger, lust and corruption of Hage’s books ... imagine Camus rewriting Taxi Driver. (Toronto Life 2012-10-10)
Hage’s prose is addictive ... [Carnival is] amazing, original, and impolite. (Eric Boodman Montreal Review of Books 2012-10-01)
[Hage's] most exuberant, imaginative and playful [novel] yet. (Telegraph Journal 2012-10-06)
Finally, a piece of fiction that roars...Hage’s language is vivid, full of surreal imagery and laced with metaphor...literary risk-takers are rarer every day. I’ll take a novelist with Hage’s energy any time. (Susan G Cole NOW Magazine 2012-11-08)
Hage continues to display a refreshingly confrontational aspect, and is unafraid to address material that writers more steeped in CanLit’s pervading politesse would studiously avoid. (Steven W. Beattie Walrus Magazine 2012-12-01)
Hage’s writing can be poetic, funny and tragic. Most importantly, it always bears the mark of displacement. (Paste 2012-12-01)
…richly mysterious… (David Kloepfer The Rumpus 2013-06-03)
[Carnival] is delivered in Hage’s festive, hard-boiled style. The novel’s short scenes of decadence and desperation spray across the pages like buckshot –loud and scattered, but still penetrating. (Manoli Kouremetis Time Out New York 2013-06-13)
Fly's world is a bleak place, filled with themes of death and the grotesque and gritty pleasure. (Fraser Julia Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2013-07-28)
Rawi Hage was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and lived through nine years of the Lebanese civil war. His debut novel, De Niro's Game, won the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, was a finalist for numerous prestigious national and international awards, including the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General's Literary Award, and has been translated into several languages and published around the world. His second novel, Cockroach, won the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General's Literary Award, and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. Rawi Hage lives in Montreal.