Born in Beirut, Rawi Hage stayed afloat through nine years of Lebanese civil war. His work reads with the immediacy and violence of lived experience. Hage’s debut novel, De Niro's Game, was a finalist for the 2006 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the 2006 Governor General’s Award for English fiction. His short story, "The Honourable," appears in our current Poolside Issue. He resides in Montreal, where he steals material from the competition and drinks coffee. Lots of coffee.
Maisonneuve Magazine: If you could get a tattoo of one title from your own oeuvre, which would you choose and where would you be inked?
Rawi Hage: A cockroach on the bottom of my foot.
MM: Who is your muse?
RH: My coffee cup.
MM: Whom would you want to direct the film adaptation of your writing?
RH: Ken Loach.
MM: Fill in the blank: “I want to write the next great __________.
RH: American opera.
MM: From whom do you plagiarize?
RH: Vincent Lam – don’t publish that!
MM: What would you do if you weren’t a writer?
MM: What’s your least noble reason for writing?
RH: Free drinks.
MM: What mood do you write in?
MM: What’s the one book that you’re supposed to read but have never gotten through?
RH: James Joyce’s Ulysses.
MM: What’s the best way to kill a character?
RH: A gun.
MM: What’s the stupidest question you’ve been asked in an interview?
RH: All of the above.
MM: Write a haiku about your latest book.
RH: Mad Cockroach
Would your slimy carcass
Shiver the underground?