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Carnival
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Carnival
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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 —...
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 —...
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  • 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 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.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 1, 2013
    Beirut-born Hage’s third novel (after Cockroach) is a dreamlike pastiche of vignettes narrated by a cabdriver and set in the run up to the carnival in fictional Carnival city. Main character Fly is no ordinary cabbie. Fly was born in a circus to a father with a turban and a magic carpet and a trapeze-artist mother. Fly is a “fly,” the type of cab driver who hunts for business—unlike the “spiders,” who wait for fares to come to them. In his travels, Fly meets a city’s worth of characters, among them drunken tourists, immigrant cabdrivers, a lascivious taxi inspector, a radical leftist, an escaped lunatic, and crack-addicted prostitutes and their children. Hage’s style is unique, blending the fantastic, such as Fly’s masturbatory flights of historical fancy, with the real, including a bookish stripper and a rash of murders among the cabbies. Although the carnival itself makes only incidental appearances in the narrative, the novel’s language spins and dips like a Tilt-a-Whirl—“And she laughed and walked among the garden of books, and then we took off our fig leaves and made love in the corner, where verses from heaven touched our bare, cracked asses that hopped and bounced like invading horses in holy lands”—complementing the rambling tales.

  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Fly's world is a bleak place, filled with themes of death and the grotesque and gritty pleasure.

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    House of Anansi Press Inc
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