Cockroach by Rawi Hage
A Novel

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A bold, razor-sharp novel about a shadowy antihero navigating Montreal’s immigrant underworld.

One of the most highly anticipated novels of the year, Cockroach is as urgent, unsettling, and brilliant as Rawi Hage’s critically acclaimed first book, De Niro’s Game. The novel takes place during one month of a bitterly cold winter in Montreal’s restless immigrant community, where a self-described “thief” has just tried but failed to commit suicide by hanging himself from a tree in a local park. Rescued against his will, the narrator is obliged to attend sessions with a well-intentioned but naive therapist. This sets the story in motion, leading us back to the narrator’s violent childhood in a war-torn country, forward into his current life in the smoky émigré cafés where everyone has a tale, and out into the frozen nighttime streets of Montreal, where the thief survives on the edge, imagining himself to be a cockroach invading the lives of the privileged, but willfully blind, citizens who surround him.

Cockroach combines an uncompromising vision of humanity with razor-sharp portraits of society's outsiders, and a startling, poetic sensibility with bracing jolts of dark humor.

About Rawi Hage

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Rawi Hage is a writer and visual artist. His two critically acclaimed novels, De Niro’s Game and Cockroach, have been translated into twenty-nine languages. De Niro’s Game was the winner of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and Cockroach was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and for the Governor General’s Literary Award. Born in Beirut, Hage lives in Montreal.
Published October 12, 2009 by W. W. Norton & Company. 321 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Cockroach

Kirkus Reviews

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A disturbed Arab immigrant in Montreal tries to insinuate himself into a strange new world.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Cockroach: A Novel

The New York Times

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A fictional metamorphosis conveys what it means to be alien.

Nov 15 2009 | Read Full Review of Cockroach: A Novel

The Guardian

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De Niro's Game, the riveting Impac-winning debut novel by the Lebanese-born writer Rawi Hage, ended with its young hero, recently escaped from wartorn Beirut, wandering around Paris in a delirium of memories from his blood-spattered past and feverish stratagems to consolidate his precarious present.

May 22 2009 | Read Full Review of Cockroach: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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With a surprising degree of humor, Hage's second novel (after IMPAC Dublin-winner DeNiro's Game ) explores the peculiar politics of Montreal's immi

Jun 29 2009 | Read Full Review of Cockroach: A Novel

The Telegraph

The narrator is a thief who, like a cockroach, .

Jun 18 2009 | Read Full Review of Cockroach: A Novel

The Bookbag

In fact, he is so similar to a cockroach that reading about his life gives you the same skin-crawling sensation that you get when you watch a cockroach scuttle about.

Oct 05 2012 | Read Full Review of Cockroach: A Novel

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