These two brilliant Canadian authors, well known for their sharp wits onstage, have both produced humorous novels that involve tragic themes, dealing with issues of religion and crises of faith. Boyagoda’s Original Prin tells the story of a university professor confronting a plethora of crises on too many fronts. With Beirut Hellfire Society, Hage returns to some of the themes of living through war that he explored in his first novel, De Niro’s Game.
Randy Boyagoda and Rawi Hage will be interviewed by Elamin Abdelmahmoud. This event will be hosted by Alexandra Grigorescu.
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Elamin Abdelmahmoud is a news curation editor with BuzzFeed News, and writer of Incoming, the BuzzFeed News daily morning newsletter. He is also a columnist for CBC Radio and a frequent culture and politics commentator for CBC News. His work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Maclean's Magazine and Chatelaine. His debut collection of essays, Son of Elsewhere, will be available fall 2020.
Novelist Randy Boyagoda is a professor of English at the University of Toronto, where he is also Principal of St. Michael’s College and holds the Basilian Chair in Christianity, Arts and Letters. His most recent novel, Original Prin, was a 2018 Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year and a 2019 New York Times Editor’s Choice. He is Chair of the 2019 ScotiaBank Giller Prize.
Alexandra Grigorescu is the author of Cauchemar (ECW Press, 2015). She holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Toronto. She lives in Toronto and is chipping away at the next thing.
Rawi Hage’s first novel, De Niro's Game, set in his native Beirut, won the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and his follow-up work, Cockroach, set in his adopted city of Montreal, won the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize. Both novels had the rare distinction of being shortlisted for every major Canadian literary prize, including the Rogers Trust Fiction Prize, the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award for fiction. With Beirut Hellfire Society, he makes a “stunning and mature return to war-torn Beirut.”