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As the literary skies are lit up with rising stars, perhaps the brightest lights in the constellation are ones we've been gazing upon for sometime.
For the second time, Concordia alumnus Rawi Hage's [BFA 92] novel Cockroach has been nominated for a prestigious trifecta of literary awards; the Governor General's award, the Giller prize and the Writers' Trust Fiction prize.
Three literary nominations in one year is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most writers. But for Hage, his first novel, DeNiro's Game, was nominated for the same three awards. While he didn’t capture any of those awards, Hage did receive the distinguished 2008 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (the richest award in English literature, valued at $158 000).
Beirut-born Hage came here to study photography, earning a BFA in photography in 1992. Hage has had his work featured by the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Musée de la civilisation de Québec. While noteworthy in its own right, it was not his photography that vaulted him to fame.
His debut novel, 2006's DeNiro's Game, turned Hage into a literal literary celebrity. Beyond his acclaimed nominations and winning the IMPAC, DeNiro's Game was also awarded two Quebec awards, the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and the McAuslan First Book Prize at the Quebec Writers' Federation literary awards. His vault into fame drew generous attention and he became well known for his thoughtful interviews.