The award-winning graphic memoir about Israel that offers more questions than answers about identity and politics
Sarah Glidden is a progressive Jewish American twentysomething who is both vocal about and critical of Israeli politics in the Holy Land. When a debate with her mother prods her to sign up for a Birthright Israel tour, Glidden expects to find objective facts to support her strong opinions. During her two weeks in Israel, Glidden takes advantage of the opportunity to ask the people she meets about the fraught and complex issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but their answers only lead her to question her own take on the conflict.
Simple linework and gorgeous watercolors spotlight Israel's countryside, urban landscapes, and religious landmarks. With straightforward sincerity, lovingly observed anecdotes, and a generous dose of self-deprecating humor, How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less is accessible while retaining Glidden's distinctive perspective. Over the course of this touching memoir, Glidden comes to terms with the idea that there are no easy answers to the world's problems, and that is okay.
This debut book landed on several best-of-the-year lists, including Entertainment Weekly's; earned a YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens distinction; and won an Ignatz Award. Her second book, Rolling Blackouts, which documents her experience shadowing journalists in Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria, will also come out this fall from Drawn & Quarterly.
About the Author
Sarah Glidden is a graduate of Boston University and lives in Seattle. Her comics have appeared in The Guardian, the Nib, Haaretz, and the Jewish Quarterly. In 2010, Glidden shadowed journalists from The Seattle Globalist as they reported from Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria. Their interviews with refugees and internally displaced people form her second book, Rolling Blackouts.
"A memoir of a trip this left-leaning Jew takes to Israel, determined to have her ideas about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict confirmed. Of course, things turn out more complicated than Glidden had imagined. So do her deceptively simple line drawings… and the thinking that informs the vivid dialogue in a graphic nonfiction novel of subtlety and understated wit." -Entertainment Weekly
"Glidden the storyteller exudes intimacy and warmth—both in her tube watercolors and her sometimes confessional persona...Glidden the knowledge-seeker thinks in much the same way as she paints: forever toward the light."—The Washington Post
"[A] masterful new book of graphic nonfiction."— VICE
"A primer for those who aren't aware of the complexity of issues and emotions underlying this seemingly interminable strife."— Kirkus Review
"A surprisingly disarming book—easy to read, and rewarding to contemplate."— AV Club
"Another enduring take-away is that not only is Israel beautiful but here is an artist who has managed to create something beautiful from something painful and fractured and messy and complicated. Which is a mighty achievement."— Bookmunch