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House of Anansi Press

Carnival

Written by Rawi Hage

Published September 29, 2012 | ISBN 9780887842351

Cover of Carnival

Regular price $29.95 CAD

304 pages | 8 in × 5.25 in
Print Format

About this book

Carnival

Rawi Hage

Winner of the Quebec Writers' Federation Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and shortlisted for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize

In the Carnival city there are two types of taxi drivers -- the spiders and the flies. The spiders patiently sit in their cars and wait for the calls to come. But the flies are wanderers - they roam the streets, looking for the raised hands of passengers among life's perpetual flux.

Fly is a wanderer and a knower. Raised in the circus, the son of a golden-haired trapeze artist and a flying carpet pilot from the East, he is destined to drift and observe. From his taxi we see the world in all its carnivalesque beauty and ugliness. We meet criminals, prostitutes, madmen, magicians, and clowns of many kinds. We meet ordinary people going to extraordinary places, and revolutionaries trying to live ordinary lives. Hunger and injustice claw at the city, and books provide the only true shelter. And when the Carnival starts, all limits dissolve, and a gunshot goes off…

With all of the beauty, truth, rage, and peripatetic storytelling that have made Cockroach and De Niro's Game international publishing sensations, Carnival gives us Rawi Hage at his searing best. Alternately laughing at absurdity and crying out at oppression, by turns outrageous, hilarious, sorrowful, and stirring, Carnival is a tour de force that will make all of life's passengers squirm in their comfortable, complacent backseats.

About the Author

Rawi Hage

Rawi Hage is a writer, a visual artist, and curator. His debut novel, De Niro’s Game, won the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and was translated into several languages. Cockroach, his second novel, was a finalist for many prestigious awards, including the Scotiabank Giller Prize. He lives in Montreal.

Awards and Praise
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.
  • Winner Quebec Writers' Federation Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction, 2012
  • Commended Amazon.ca Best Books: Top 10 Fiction, 2012
  • Commended Amazon.ca Best Books: Top 10 Canadian Fiction, 2012
  • Commended Amazon.ca Best Books: Editors' Picks, 2012
  • Commended Globe and Mail Top 100 Book, 2012
  • Short-listed Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, 2012