Book Review: Footnotes in Gaza

Book Review: Footnotes in Gaza by Joe Sacco

If you’ve never read any of Joe Sacco’s beautifully crafted graphic novels, his latest work of comic-journalism, Footnotes in Gaza, is a great place to start. Sacco is a pioneer of combining investigative journalism and war zone reporting with the creative form of the graphic novel and has achieved widespread international acclaim for his award-winning previous works, including Palestine and Safe Area Goražde.

Footnotes in Gaza is available at Lobby Books for R330

If Palestine presented the reader mostly with snapshots of the lives of ordinary Palestinians under Israeli occupation, Footnotes in Gaza, which remains gripping throughout its 400-odd pages, has a more continuous storyline. Seamlessly weaving together his personal investigations and interviews in the Gaza Strip with compelling historic reconstructions, Sacco uncovers the shocking details of two bloody events that devastated the Palestinian settlements of Khan Younis and Rafah in 1956, but which have until now been all but forgotten by mainstream history.

While always maintaining his journalistic integrity, Sacco gives a voice to victims of atrocities that have been forgotten by the “official record” and in so doing turns their collective memories into an absorbing and disturbing true tale. As always, his artwork is brilliant.

This is book is a must for graphic novel lovers and novices alike, as well as for anyone interested in the past, present and future of Israel and Palestine.

Andreas Späth, Idasa

Footnotes in Gaza is available at Lobby Books for R330.

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