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 for BuzzFeed News and a current affairs commentator on CBC News. He writes a monthly column for Chatelaine magazine and has taught journalism at Ryerson University. You can find him on Twitter at @elamin88.
Randy Boyagoda is one of Canada’s funniest and most provocative writers, a regular presence on CBC Radio. His most recent novel, Beggar’s Feast, was selected as a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice and longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Prize. His first novel, Governor of the Northern Province, was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Born to Sri Lankan parents in Oshawa, he lives in Toronto with his wife and four children. He is a professor of English at the University of Toronto, where he is also Principal of St. Michael’s College.
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.”