Rawi Hage first came on my radar when I heard him read at Thin Air, the , for his first novel De Niro's Game. Several months later that novel won the Impac Dublin Award and Rawi Hage became a household name. His second novel, Cockroach, was well received also and now we have a third novel hot off the presses. Hage will be reading from Carnival, the new novel, again at Thin Air Mainstage on Sept 26 as well as at Thin Air's Nooner event the same day. Based on what I heard last time I expect powerful readings worth seeking out.
In Carnival 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.
|Categories: Saskatoon, Winnipeg, New Releases, Literature, Book of the Day|