Suad Amiry’s Sharon and My Mother-in-Law: Ramallah Diaries (Pantheon Books, 2004) describes the difficult predicament of life under military occupation in Ramallah. Using wit and humor, Amiry recounts her stifling existence during curfews and heavy shelling, her terrifying experiences at airports and Israeli checkpoints, and her challenges to remaining civil—and sane—when dealing with her elderly mother-in-law. Sharon and my Mother-in-Law transcends the private world of its writer to encompass collective stories of pain, displacement, and resilience among fellow Palestinians. This article provides an analysis of Amiry’s strategic use of humor as a way of resisting Israeli authority, articulating ethical and practical dilemmas resulting from the occupation, alleviating her sense of anxiety, and establishing social connections with others.

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