3 must-see books from: Palestine

This article is also available in: Italiano

3 books that tell about Palestine in a strong and decisive way, both with words and with images

Small but necessary premise

This is not a ranking but a suggestion for those approaching these countries and areas of the world for the first time and is also linked to the personal taste of the author. Putting only 3 works (thus risking to leave out entire countries) was a very specific choice due to something that is often forgotten: books are not free. Our intent is to provide beginners and experts with 3 truly “indispensable” titles, which can thus allow them to enjoy a good text and / or discover something new, allowing them to make only “good” shopping. In this specific case, I have chosen to vary things by inserting 2 texts of greater graphic impact but fortunately Palestine offers an incredibly varied and level choice.


Do you have any different “must-sees”? We are very curious to know them, soon we will start 30 minutes / 1 hour direct starting from these lists; stay connected to receive news. We leave you to the list, good reads.

“Una trilogia palestinese” by Mahmoud Darwish

The first collection of the three most significant prose texts by one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century. And certainly by the greatest Arab poet and writer of the last century. Says Elias Sanbar: “Darwish was not an ambassador of his country but a poet detached from his nationality and his passport. Certainly Palestine was its humus, the land where it had its roots: its flora and fauna, its music and its clouds, but all this should not have been its limit. If he speaks of land, that land is his land. He never got bogged down in the interpretations they gave to his work ”. Diary of ordinary sadness (1973) retraces the time preceding the choice of exile – the house arrest, the interrogations of Israeli officers, the prison – and closes the poet’s most drastically militant phase. Memory for oblivion (1987) evokes the Israeli invasion of Beirut in August 1982. In the presence of absence (2006) is a reflection on poetic experience and language. A sort of testament, which coincides with the farewell of the poignant poem The Gambler (2009), which closes this volume.


The best Italian collection ever about Mahmoud Darwish‘s prose. Of the 3 books it is the only one not yet present on the site but this is precisely due to its size as a unique masterpiece that would require a re-reading. Reading this book you can taste the sweetest notes of the amazing Palestinian poet, to my personal taste, among the best in history. “Una trilogia palestinese” is then particularly complete because it brings very different episodes, texts and reflections that involved Darwish and the whole Middle East. In addition to the Palestinian question which, of course, is stronger, more alive and complete than ever, his great ability is also found in telling small details, bewitching the reader on every page. Text in this case truly unmissable for any lover of literature and Palestine.

“Palestina” by Joe Sacco

A severe and detailed reportage of the conditions of the Palestinians during the second Intifada, Joe Sacco ventures throughout Palestine in search of his inhabitants, his people. What he shows us is the everyday reality of those who live there, including humiliations and suffering. Joe Sacco travels from north to south moving through refugee camps to villages now besieged by settlers.


Sometimes, images speak better than words, but when these two merge, they often manage to surpass themselves. “Palestina” by Joe Sacco, through a wise comic art, manages to do just that, resulting in one of the most interesting texts on the homonymous country. In fact, in very few works, we will be able to experience the absurd sensations that the Palestinians experience every day under illegal Israeli operations, this is one of them. Images, texts and colors will all be functional to lead the reader to perceive a malaise that should not and will never be the norm. If you like graphic novels and Palestine, this is a must have.

“Filastin” by Naji al Ali

Naji al Ali is certainly one of the most important cartoonists in the history of the Arab world and left a legacy of thousands of cartoons upon his death. This volume collects 175, original and restored, which create a sort of historical reportage on the Palestinian question and on twenty-five years of Middle East politics. In Filastin Naji al-Ali tells us about his life through an interview considered by himself a “testament”, which shows us how great this artist is, unfortunately not yet sufficiently known in Italy, but published and appreciated all over the world.


One of the most influential characters of Palestinian artistic culture thanks to a character, Handala, still today an emblem of the struggle of the Palestinian people. Naji al Ali, in her subtlety and satire, actually managed to tell clearly and sharply what was happening in her land, often managing to snatch smiles and emotions. Of the three books it is certainly the one with the least text but, if you are passionate about pop culture and Palestine, it can be truly a fascinating work.

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