129 fatalities. 368 wounded. A city of 2.24 million. And shock waves of pain and fear that are impossible to number.
In this confusion, what we can do as a book distributor is simply offer up six books that give a bit of perspective. The first four inform you about terrorism, the global narrative surrounding it, its history, and modern opinions. The last two titles are purely about Paris, and we think that’s important—to be reminded of the deep intimacies of this city and its people within this tragedy. In the words of Walt Whitman to Paris, “And I send these words to Paris with my love/…I will yet sing a song for you, Ma Femme.”
Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline, by Malu Halasa and Zaher Omareen, published by Saqi Books, highlights the artists of Syria who combat the culture of violence through their work. The anthology features poetry, illustrations, photographs, and stories that shed light on the individuals striving to make a difference.
The No-Nonsense Guide to Global Terrorism by Jonathan Barker, published by New Internationalist, is an accessible analysis of terrorism and its history. The book uses examples from the Middle East, state terrorism, and political terrorism to look at the causes of terrorism and possible ways to combat it.
Published by New Society Publishers, Enough Blood Shed: 101 Solutions to Violence, Terror and War by Mary-Wynne Ashford and Guy Dauncey is told in two parts, with the first half of the book describing the culture of violence that terrorism creates, and the second half offering possible solutions. Though heavy in subject matter, the hopeful tone shows that change is possible.
Pirates and Emperors, Old and New: International Terrorism in the Real World by Noam Chomsky and published by Haymarket Books offers a crash course in the many forms terrorism can take. Using the United States’ role in the Middle East as the main example, Chomsky shows how terrorism can be stopped by understanding these different forms.
Paris by Julian Green and published by Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd takes readers through the romantic and winding streets of Paris. Like a love-note to the city, Paris is a literary portrait illustrated with Green’s photographs that shows readers just how special Paris really is.
750 Years in Paris by Vincent Mahé, published by NoBrow Press, is a literary graphic novel that focuses on just one building in Paris through the progression of history, starting in the thirteenth century. The book shows how drastically things can change in an instant, and also celebrates the enduring nature of Paris itself.