Thursday, January 03, 2013

Jerusalem: Chronicles of the Holy City

I appreciate that my three "kids" aged 25 to 30 do their best to keep me "up to speed" on some of the changing social trends. Thanks to my daughters, Em and Joc, I now text and tweet, and it wasn't that painful to learn how to do so. Joc and Ike have more recently introduced me to the notion that graphic novels are not comic books, and can actually be quite sophisticated in the subjects they explore.

While visiting Isaac and daughter-in-law Rebekah we had a conversation about the graphic book Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City by Guy Delisle. This is more of a memoir than a novel by Delisle who lived for a time in East Jerusalem while his wife served with Doctors Without Borders. I managed to read through most of it while I was there, and it offers an interesting and personal perspective into living in the Occupied Territories. This is the same area in which the Israeli government plans to build new settlements, a move which has received the reprimand of most western countries, including Canada.

Delisle doesn't really get political. He muses from the perspective of a stay-at-home dad who becomes all too aware of the poverty of East Jerusalem, of the frustrations of passing through check-points of the Wall, and is subject to the suspicion of Israeli officials when he presents at a graphics conference which also features a Palestinian artist. He doesn't pass judgement, but he shares his experience.

Isaac's comment was that this book should be required reading for United Church ministers to help raise their awareness of the issues. I would agree, and I think that many of our members would benefit as well, given the controversial decisions of the last General Council.

Does this book sound interesting to you? Do you wish you had greater clarity on the complex issues of Israel/Palestine? Do you think a "comic book" could be helpful? Bye the way, Jerusalem is published by a successful Montreal publisher called Drawn and Quarterly   What a clever name for a graphic books outfit!

Could you live with a "car by the hour?" Take a look at today's Groundling blog.


Lynnof60 said...

Yes please. I have been looking for that Israel/Palestinian book for Dummies but it isn't out there. Perhaps this would do the trick.

IanD said...

I've used graphic novels quite extensively over the years in my classrooms and find them to be invaluable in terms of getting certain readers closer to a given text than they'd be able to get on their own.

I'm with Lynn, though: combining the "Dummies" series with a comic presentation might finally help me make sense of the whole thing!

willowjakmom said...

Yes! Adding to the book list now.

David Mundy said...

I have ordered a copy. I'll let all of you sneak a peek.

Lori-Ann said...

I am putting it on my list too.