Hage Takes IMPAC

The Guardian reports that this year’s IMPAC Dublin award has gone to Rawi Hage for De Niro’s Game:

A debut novelist writing in his third language has bested competitors including Philip Roth, Thomas Pynchon and Margaret Atwood to take the world’s richest literary prize. First-time author Rawi Hage was this morning declared the winner of the €100,000 Impac Dublin literary award for his novel De Niro’s Game.

De Niro’s Game is set during the Lebanese civil war in the 1980s, its title alluding to the Russian roulette which features in the celebrated Vietnam film drama. In Hage’s novel, the private lives and morals of two young friends are pushed badly out of shape by the relentless stresses and brutality of the conflict raging around them. The judges’ citation, delivered at a ceremony in Dublin’s City Hall earlier, praised De Niro’s Game for its “originality, its power, its lyricism, as well as its humane appeal … the work of a major literary talent.”

The novel comes out in paperback with Harper in the summer.