Drake Stutesman


    In Yalo, published in Arabic in 2002, Elias Khoury combs the world of an imprisoned rapist during the violent forced con­fession of his crimes and of “the story of his life.” Yalo is a young man from Beirut’s Syriac Quarter who left the area as a teenager when the civil war escalated in 1976. He fought, then emigrated to France, where eventually, holding a Kalashnikov, he attacked lovers in parked cars at night. He returned to Lebanon and continued robbing and raping. The novel opens as he is being tortured, and this scene is the core around which Khoury builds a splintering narrative structure

  • Best Adaptations


    HOUSEHOLD SAINTS (Nancy Savoca, 1993) Perhaps it’s narcissistic, but I have to say that my favorite adaptation is of my novel. By now, the book and the film have so melded in my mind, I picture Lili Taylor and Judith Malina when I think of the grandmother and granddaughter I created.

    WISE BLOOD (John Huston, 1979) This adaptation of Flannery O’Connor’s novel features the great Harry Dean Stanton as the blind preacher.

    THE TIN DRUM (Volker Schlöndorff, 1979) The little boy is amazing, and the eel and horsehead scene is just as upsetting as it is in the novel.