Thursday, June 12, 2008

Debut novel wins IMPAC Award

Beirut-born author Rawi Hage has won the world’s richest literary prize for his debut novel De Niro’s Game. He won the 13th annual International Impac Dublin Literary Award valued at €100,000, which was announced today.

Hage, who was born in Beirut, lived through nine years of civil war in the city before emigrating to Canada. His debut novel beat off competition from 137 titles, nominated by 162 public libraries from 45 countries.The winning novel, first published by House of Anansi Press, Canada, was chosen by a panel of five international judges from a shortlist of eight, including Patrick McCabe’s, Winterwood, heralded by critics as the Monaghan man’s best work yet.

The IMPAC DUBLIN award is unique for being the largest literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English, as well as for being nominated by public libraries from around the globe. De Niro's Game was nominated by Winnipeg Public Library, in Rawi Hage’s adopted home of Canada.

The Impac panel, which this year included Irish academic and writer Eibhlín Evans, said: "Rawi Hage's De Niro's Game is an eloquent, forthright and at times beautifully written first novel. Ringing with insight and authenticity the novel shows how war can envelop lives. It's a game where there are no winners, just degrees of survival. It's a wonderful debut and a deserving winner."

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