Rawi Hage was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and lived through nine years of the Lebanese civil war during the 1970s and 1980s. He emigrated to Canada in 1992 and now lives in Montreal. His first novel, De Niro's Game, won the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for the best English-language book published anywhere in the world in a given year, and has either won or been shortlisted for seven other major awards and prizes. Cockroach was the winner of the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Awards. It was also shortlisted for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Award and the Scotiabank Giller Prize.