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Why novelist Rawi Hage explores death, mourning and ethics in fiction

Lebanese-born, Montreal-based Rawi Hage is the author of acclaimed novels De Niro’s Game and Cockroach. His most recent novel, Beirut Hellfire Society, revolves around Beirut-based Pavlov, a 20-year-old undertaker and his encounter with a secret society that gives proper burials to those denied them for reasons such as being an atheist or being gay.

The novel explores the meaning of death and dying. It was on the 2018 shortlist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction.

In the latest episode of the CBC Books’ video series Why I Write, the award-winning author talks about writing on death and why he thinks writers should feel fearless when writing fiction.

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CBC Books’ Why I Write series features Canadian authors speaking on what literature means to them. The video series asks authors what motivated them to write their latest work, what themes readers should take away from the work and what excites them about the current national literature scene in general.

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