THE SCENE APPEARS idyllic: “Golden sand, a vast red horizon, and shards of light scattered across the water.” But on this beach in Gaza, in Palestine, the mood is desperate. One man there describes Palestinian Christians as living artifacts of the 2,000-year-old Christian community in the Holy Land.
With grace and deep reporting, Janine di Giovanni, an acclaimed author and war correspondent, has captured the often overlooked plight of the dwindling Christian communities of the Middle East—specifically in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and Palestine. The Vanishing is a tender if deeply disturbing travelogue, filled with stories told by Christians about the ferocious politics and desperate economics that shattered their communities. She writes in an elegiac tone while marveling at the resiliency of the few who remain.
Di Giovanni describes the trajectory of collapse, carefully providing the markedly different history of each country that nonetheless has led to similarly tragic outcomes.