BOOK REVIEWS 535 developing body of work moving beyond a focus on only traditional performance genres. JENNIFER GOODLANDER Indiana University Iraq CONTEMPORARY PLAYS FROM IRAQ. Translated and edited by A. Al-Azraki and James Al-Shamma. London: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2017. xviii + 204 pp. Paperback, $24.95; cloth, $74.00; E-book, $22.45. Images of the Middle East and Middle Eastern peoples in the western imagination include visions of never-ending wars, an unstoppable parade of dictatorships, tyranny fueled by religious dogma, and omnipresent chaos. These images, perpetuations of colonial discourse, were emboldened in the past few decades after the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration’s “War on Terror,” geopolitical alliances between the west and Middle Eastern dictatorships, and the presidency of Donald Trump with his open xenophobia and Islamophobia. One way to counter this hegemony is a profound representation of the life and culture of the Middle Eastern countries as reflected in local literary traditions, cultural artifacts, and dramatic works. Ideally, an informed reader encounters Al-Azraki and Al-Shamma’s anthology of nine Iraqi one-act plays with this very expectation. Unfortunately, despite all its merits and significant contributions to the field, the anthology fails to present an image of the Iraqi life outside the realm of
Asian Theatre Journal – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Oct 4, 2019
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