Wednesday, 25 June 2008

IMPAC Prize 2008

De Niro's Game by Rawi Hage has scooped the world’s richest literary prize of €100,000 by being awarded the 13th annual International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Previous winners include The Master by Colm Toibin and Out Stealing Horses by Per Pettersen. The Award is presented annually with the objective of promoting excellence in world literature. It is open to novels written in any language and by authors of any nationality, provided the work has been published in English or English translation in the specified time period. Nominations are submitted by library systems in major cities throughout the world. Cork, Dublin, Galway and Limerick City libraries and Waterford County library are nominating libraries for the award.

In “De Niro’s Game”, Bassam and George are childhood best friends who have grown to adulthood in war torn Beirut. Now they must choose their futures: to stay in the city and consolidate power through crime; or to go into exile abroad, alienated from the only existence they have known. Bassam chooses one path - obsessed with leaving Beirut, he embarks on a series of petty crimes to finance his departure. Meanwhile, George builds his power in the underworld of the city and embraces a life of military service, crime for profit, killing, and drugs. Told in the voice of Bassam, De Niro's Game is a beautiful, explosive portrait of a contemporary young man shaped by a lifelong experience of war. The book powerfully conveys the brutality of war and its dehumanizing effects on those caught up in it.

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