Cockroach

Front Cover
W.W. Norton & Company, 2009 - Fiction - 305 pages
7 Reviews
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 naïve 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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LynnB - LibraryThing

Cockroach tells the story of an immigrant in Montreal. He is trying to get by in his new country, leaving behind a tragic family situation in his homeland. Our hero deals with being on welfare, having ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - musecure - LibraryThing

At times unsettling, comedic, hopeful and desperate. Interesting glimpse into immigrant life in Montreal and into mind of a man who having survived a violent, war-torn childhood takes refuge in his ... Read full review

About the author (2009)

Rawi Hage was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and lived through nine years of the Lebanese civil war. He immigrated to Canada in 1992. His writing has appeared in Fuse magazine, Mizna , Jouvert , The Toronto Review , Montreal Serai , and Al-Jadid . His debut novel, De Nirorsquo;s Game , won many prestigious national and international awards, including the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. He lives in Montreal.

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