Louisville Magazine

MAR 2019

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

Issue link: https://loumag.epubxp.com/i/1088363

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Page 49 of 133

ymcalouisville.org LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 3.19 47 How can this story, diary-like in the novel, be recast as great theater, and why present an Iraqi tale on a stage in faraway Louisville? "It's a cinematic memory novel, in some ways," Khalidi says, "but there's a lot of imagery that felt so striking, so theatrical. And there was a lot of richness, we thought, to be mined in the characters. Also, the historical scope of the story: It's epic in a way, but also very personal. at, I felt, gave us a lot to work with, even though we had to do some adapting and some dramatizing." In e Corpse Washer, Jawad grows up in a Bagdad ruled by Saddam Hussein and confronts adulthood during the American occupation. Much of the story's imagery involves the mghaysil (wash house), the place of business where generations of Jawad's family have washed and enshrouded the Shiite dead prior to burial. e physical act of tending to Iraq's deceased plays out onstage, and, following one particular tragedy, Jawad is expected to step in as the family's next corpse washer. But he has dreams of becoming an artist and of escaping Iraq for another life.

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