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Like many authors, Israeli novelist David Grossman feels a compulsion to write. When his son was killed in the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, Grossman crafted Falling Out of Time, a lyrical novel about a character simply called Walking Man, who is so grief-stricken by the loss of his child that he begins to walk widening circles around his town, moving constantly to keep the ache of loss from consuming him entirely. He leaves his wife at home during these journeys but over time forms a collection of new friends and fellow walkers, all of whom share the same type of grief. Beginning this week at Theater J, Derek Goldman, artistic director of Georgetown University’s Davis Performing Arts Center, presents his staged adaptation of Grossman’s novel. While the lyrical prose of the novel has certainly evolved, the visual presentation of the story stirs emotions in an entirely different way. The grief presented feels genuine, even in this fictional world. The play runs March 17 to April 17 at Theater J, 1529 16th St. NW. $15–$67. (202) 777-3210. theaterj.org.