Text freely adapted by Jeremy Gill and Marianna Suri from “The Chaplain’s Tale” by Michael Zand (Refugee Tales, Commas Press, 2016). Used with permission of the author.
The Journey relays the tale of a man who is no longer able to live the life he desires in his homeland and decides to emigrate. The style of the text borrows from experimental theater of the twentieth century (Beckett, for example) and is intentionally abstract, but the form is quite clear. In five brief, continuous acts, the tale unfolds: Act 1 memorializes the manʼs happy past near a placid sea. Act 2 introduces an unnamed trauma that shatters his peaceful life. Acts 3 and 4 show him slowly working to overcome his trauma, with the bolstering aid of his brothers and supporters. He ultimately emerges in Act 5 with the decision to emigrate and to seek a better life, thereby reasserting control of his existence.