Cockroach is as urgent, unsettling, and brilliant as
Rawi Hage's bestselling and critically acclaimed first
book, De Niro's Game.
The novel takes place during one month of a bitterly cold winter
in Montreal's restless immigrant community, where a
self-described thief has just tried but failed to commit suicide.
Rescued against his will, the narrator is obliged to attend
sessions with a well-intentioned but naive therapist. This sets the
story in motion, leading us back to the narrator's violent
childhood in a war-torn country, forward into his current life in
the smoky emigre cafes where everyone has a tale, and out into the
frozen night-time streets of Montreal, where the thief survives on
the edge, imagining himself to be a cockroach invading the lives of
the privileged, but wilfully blind, citizens who surround him.
In 2008, Cockroach was a finalist for the Scotiabank
Giller Prize, the Governor General's Literary Award, and
the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. It won the
Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction, presented by the
Quebec Writers' Federation.