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Myriad Acquires Graphic Memoir of Lost Iraqi Homeland by Carol Isaacs (The Surreal McCoy)


February 2019


Praise for performances of The Wolf of Baghdad:

‘The Wolf of Baghdad is a ‘tour de force’—the moving story of the destruction of a community seen through the eyes of an Iraqi Jew—and a wolf. The most exciting animated audio-visual experience since Persepolis.’ Lyn Julius, Harif

‘A brilliant and truly transporting piece of work.’ Mekella Broomberg, JW3

‘An enthralling and moving combination of art and music. It is magical.’ Claudia Roden, Cultural Anthropologist and Food Writer

In the 1940s a third of Baghdad’s population was Jewish. Within a decade nearly all 150,000 of Iraq’s Jews had been expelled, kiled or had escaped.

Carol Isaacs’s graphic memoir of a lost homeland is a wordless narrative by an author homesick for a home she has never visited. It is illuminated by the words and portraits of her family, and a brief history of Baghdadi Jews.

Transported by the power of music to her ancestral home in the old Jewish quarter of Baghdad, the author encounters its ghost-like inhabitants who are revealed as long-gone family members. As she explores the city, journeying through their memories and her imagination, she at first sees successful integration, and cultural and social cohesion. Then the mood turns darker with the fading of this ancient community’s fortunes.

The wolf, believed by Baghdadi Jews to protect them from harmful demons, sees that Jewish life in Iraq is over, and returns the author safely back to her present home in London.

An excerpt of the bookwas also longlisted for the 2018 Myriad First Graphic Novel Competition.


About the author:

Carol Isaacs is a musician and, as The Surreal McCoy, is a well-known cartoonist published in the New Yorker, Spectator and Sunday Times.

The Wolf of Baghdad is also an animated slideshow with its own musical soundtrack, which is often performed by a live band including Isaacs on accordion and keyboards, playing music of Iraqi and Judeo-Arabic origin.

Future performances are in Cambridge and at the School of Oriential and African Studies, London.


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