Carnival by Rawi Hage

By Rawi Hage

A stirring new masterpiece from the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award–winning writer of Cockroach and De Niro’s Game.
In Carnival, the world over acclaimed writer Rawi Hage takes us into the area of Fly, a taxi motive force in a crime-ridden apocalyptic city.
Raised within the circus, the son of a golden-haired trapeze artist and a flying-carpet guy, Fly sees every thing, taking in the entire city’s carnivalesque attractiveness and ugliness as he roves via its dizzying streets in his taxi. Fly is a reader, too, and while he’s no longer in his taxi he's at domestic within the both dizzying labyrinth of books that fills his tiny condominium. His ally is Otto, a political activist who’s out and in of jails and asylums, mourning his lifeless spouse and misplaced foster son. On one differently tawdry evening Fly meets Mary, a book-loving passenger with a domineering husband. So starts a romance that's, for Fly, a quick glimmer of sunshine amid the shadows and grit of the Carnival city.

Along with Otto and Mary, Fly introduces us to madmen and revolutionaries, magicians and prostitutes as he selections them up and drops them off, touring via a nightmarish city that is—we can’t aid yet notice—a parable for our personal debauched, unjust world.

Wildly resourceful and darkly ironic, Carnival is a powerful achievement.

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Left to its own devices, it did not seem likely that his government would do so: the first meeting of the newly formed Canada-United Kingdom ministerial committee in April 1967 also proved to be its last. 71 The prospect of a meeting of this group, plus Trudeau’s commitment to a review of foreign policy, including a special study of Europe, provided the Department of External Affairs with the occasion to give some attention to the United Kingdom. The initiative was taken by the assistant under-secretary responsible for economic policy, James Langley.

24 This slight concession was enough, and during the debate on the American motion, Pearson sat quietly until the small hours of the morning. m. ’25 After lunch with UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld, who was doubtful that Pearson’s idea would work, the minister returned to Ottawa, where the cabinet endorsed his proposal for an international peacekeeping force. ’26 Pearson returned to New York late in the afternoon of 3 November, bringing the draft with him. There he learned that British reaction to the proposed resolution had been encouraging.

3 More immediate difficulties developed in the Middle East, where Canada grew alarmed in early 1956 at the deteriorating situation in the area. Pearson, Canada’s secretary of state for external affairs, had met Egyptian Prime Minister Gamal Abdel Nasser in late 1955 during a quick tour of the troubled region. ’4 Pearson dismissed American and British suggestions that Nasser was likely to fall easy prey to Soviet intrigue. Instead, he saw Nasser as representative of a resurgent Arab nationalism, whose deepseated opposition to European colonialism would make it difficult for either the West or the Soviet Union to influence developments in the Middle East.

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