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Books On Palestine: A Reading List To Understand Palestinian History, Politics And Culture

We have curated a list of books for our readers interested in engaging with Palestinian history, politics, culture, and literature.

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Hand in Hand: A woman protests against Israeli air strikes on Gaza in Madrid, Spain
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From books on history and politics to literary works, here is a list of books for our readers to understand Palestinian history, politics, culture, and literature.

Poetry

  1. ‘Daily Nightmares’ by Fadwa Tuqan, translated by Yusra A. Salah 
    Movingly depicts the struggles of the Palestinian people  
     
  2. ‘Things You May Find Hidden in My Ear’ by Mosab Abu Toha
    Poems that spring from the author’s experiences in Gaza as a child and as a young father
     
  3. ‘Strangers in Light Coats’ by Ghassan Zaqtan
    Poems about Palestine, life in wartime, and losing the war to live for love
     
  4. ‘Memory for Forgetfulness’ by Mahmoud Darwish 
    Bears witness to the Israeli siege of Beirut in 1982 and explores the role of memory 
     
  5. ‘In the Presence of Absence’ by Mahmoud Darwish
    An elegy for the self, a lyrical meditation on history, Palestine, family and friendship

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Fiction

  1. ‘Wild Thorns’ by Sahar Khalifeh, translated by Trevor LeGassick and Elizabeth Fernea 
    One of the first novels to shine a light on daily life in Palestine under occupation
     
  2. ‘Minor Detail’ by Adania Shibli 
    A haunting meditation on war and memory that cuts to the heart of the Palestinian experience of life under occupation
     
  3. ‘Men in the Sun’ by Ghassan Kanafani
    A short story collection seeped in the anguish of displaced Palestinians
     
  4. ‘Salt Houses’ by Haya Alan 
    This novel traces a Palestinian family’s story over three generations and the ways in which the Nakba and colonialism impacted individual lives
     
  5. ‘Against the Loveless World’ by Susan Abulhawa
    A lyrical novel that tells the story of a Palestinian refugee who becomes radicalised 

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Literary Non-fiction

  1. ‘The Drone Eats with Me: A Gaza Diary’ by Atef Abu Saif 
    A moving account of a Gazan’s struggle to survive during the 2014 Israeli assault on his homeland
     
  2. ‘We Could Have Been Friends, My Father and I: A Palestinian Memoir’ by Raja Shehadeh
    Set against his complicated relationship with his father, Shehadeh’s memoir traces the injustices Palestinians have suffered throughout history
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  1. ‘The Drone Eats with Me: A Gaza Diary’ by Atef Abu Saif 
  2. ‘Palestinian Walks’ by Raja Shehadeh 
    A love letter to Ramallah where nature is under assault and flora and fauna are displaced by checkpoints and gunfire
     
  3. ‘A Party for Thaera: Palestinian Women Write Life in Prison’, ed. Haifa Zangana, translated by Salam Darwazah Mir 
    Nine women, all former Palestinian prisoners, share their stories in their own voices in this book

Non-fiction

  1. ‘The Question of Palestine’ by Edward Said
    Original, deeply provocative, a compelling call for Palestinian identity and for justice
     
  2. ‘The Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel and the Palestinians’ by Noam Chomsky
    Challenges the American narrative of the Israel-Palestine conflict and dissects US foreign policy
     
  3. ‘Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer’ by Phyllis Bennis
    A comprehensive introduction to the history, politics and the human cost of the Israel-Palestine conflict
     
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  1. ‘Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer’ by Phyllis Bennis
  2. ‘Hamas – From Resistance to Regime’ by Paola Caridi, translated by Andrea Teti
    An incisive account of Hamas’ origins, growth and rise in Palestine 
     
  3. ‘Voices of the Nakba: A Living History of Palestine’ edited by Diana Allan 
    Stories of first-generation Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, documenting a watershed moment in the history of the Middle East through the voices of the people who experienced it
     
  4. ‘Palestine Speaks: Narratives of Life Under Occupation’ ed. Mateo Hoke and Cate Malek 
    In ‘Palestine Speaks’, men and women from the West Bank and Gaza describe in their own voices how their lives have been shaped by the conflict

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  1. ‘Hamas – From Resistance to Regime’ by Paola Caridi, translated by Andrea Teti

Plays

  1. ‘Fireworks’ by Dalia Taha
    Captures the full extent of the claustrophobia of life under occupation in Palestine
     
  2. ‘Stories Under Occupation and Other Plays from Palestine’ edt. Samer Al-Saber and Gary M. English
    A collection of plays presented by contemporary Palestinian theatre groups that shine the spotlight on life in wartime and the horrors of living under occupation

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