The Clothesline Swing

Ahmad Danny Ramadan

Beautiful, elegiac. A play on the concept of Arabian Nights/One Thousand and One Nights, Hakawati takes the role of Scheherazade; many years past (close to the reader’s present) he was a Syrian refugee, a gay man who first experienced violence due to his identity and later due to the brutality of war. But he escaped and made a life in Vancouver with his partner, they learned how to live in a place of peace and find happiness, until this future point where his partner is dying. The king that Hakawati is forestalling with stories is Death, manifested in full reaper fashion. Each night Hakawati tells stories of his childhood, relieving the painful memories, as if suffering by itself can be a means of survival. Inevitably it’s a bit of a disjointed book, but the experiences documented are crucial.