A Brief Literary Guide to the History of Gaza
There’s more to the long-suffering region than meets the eye. From visual journalism to history to cookbooks, here are four books to deepen your understanding of the Gaza Strip.
1. Footnotes in Gaza by Joe Sacco
In a tour de force of visual journalism, cartoonist and reporter Joe Sacco transports readers to the Rafah, a town at the bottom tip of the Gaza Strip and the site of a bloody massacre in 1956. Considered a footnote to the region’s bloody history, Sacco unravels the echoes of that moment all the way to the conflict today.
2. The Gaza Strip: Its History and Politics by Nathan Shachar
A well-balanced journalist’s account relying on research, on-the-ground reporting and sometimes street gossip. From Egyptian pharaohs to today’s conflict, a readable guide to the people and politics that shaped the region.
3. The Gaza Kitchen by Laila El-Haddad and Maggie Schmitt
In 2010, the authors traveled the length of the Gaza Strip to collect recipes from an embattled region. The resulting collection of 130 recipes paints a rich portrait of the region’s culinary history, using cooking as a window into family histories and the challenge of “surviving and creating spaces for pleasure in an embattled place.”
Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappé
This recent collection of critical interviews and essays on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “gives essential context to the crisis.” Together, the linguist-turned-activist and prominent Israeli historian provide both incisive policy critique and unflinching historical analysis.