THE INTERNATIONALLY BESTSELLING SERIES OF GRAPHIC MEMOIRS
‘A MASTERPIECE’ Posy Simmonds
Translated by Sam Taylor
THE ARAB OF THE FUTURE, VOLUME 1
A CHILDHOOD IN THE MIDDLE EAST, 1978-1984
THE #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER.
A GUARDIAN ‘BEST GRAPHIC BOOKS OF 2015’ PICK.
Brimming with life and dark humor, The Arab of the Future reveals the truth and texture of one eccentric family in an absurd Middle East, and introduces a master cartoonist in a work destined to stand alongside Maus and Persepolis.
‘Not since Persepolis has a comic book seemed so important, or been so acclaimed… it has an authenticity with which no expert or talking head could ever hope to compete‘
‘Excellent… an authentic, emotionally honest memoir‘
The Arab of the Future, the #1 French best-seller, tells the unforgettable story of Riad Sattouf’s childhood, spent in the shadows of 3 dictators – Muammar Gaddafi, Hafez al-Assad, and his father.
In striking, virtuoso graphic style that captures both the immediacy of childhood and the fervor of political idealism, Riad Sattouf recounts his nomadic childhood growing up in rural France, Gaddafi’s Libya, and Assad’s Syria – but always under the roof of his father, a Syrian Pan-Arabist who drags his family along in his pursuit of grandiose dreams for the Arab nation.
Riad, delicate and wide-eyed, follows in the trail of his mismatched parents: his mother, a bookish French student, is as modest as his father is flamboyant. Venturing first to the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab State and then joining the family tribe in Homs, Syria, they hold fast to the vision of the paradise that always lies just around the corner. And hold they do, though food is scarce, children kill dogs for sport, and with locks banned, the Sattoufs come home one day to discover another family occupying their apartment. The ultimate outsider, Riad, with his flowing blond hair, is called the ultimate insult… Jewish. And in no time at all, his father has come up with yet another grand plan, moving from building a new people to building his own great palace.
Brimming with life and dark humor, The Arab of the Future reveals the truth and texture of one eccentric family in an absurd Middle East, and also introduces a master cartoonist in a work destined to stand alongside Maus and Persepolis.
THE ARAB OF THE FUTURE, VOLUME 2
A CHILDHOOD IN THE MIDDLE EAST, 1984-1985
THE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED CONTINUATION OF RIAD SATTOUF’S INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED GRAPHIC MEMOIR.
THE UNFORGETTABLE STORY OF AN EXTRAORDINARY CHILDHOOD.
‘Wonderfully observed, funny, grim, sharp and sad. A masterpiece‘
‘I joyously recommend this book to you’
‘I loved it‘
Rachel Cooke, Observer Graphic Book of the Month
‘The Marcel Proust of the illustrated form‘
Gary Perry, Foyles Staff Pick
The first volume of Riad Sattouf’s The Arab of the Future introduced young Riad as his family shuttled back and forth between France and the Middle East.
Here is the continuation of his heart-rending, darkly comic story. Now settled in his father’s village of Ter Maaleh near Homs, Riad finally begins school, where he dedicates himself to becoming a true Syrian in the country of the dictator Hafez Al-Assad.
Told simply yet with devastating effect, Riad’s story takes in the sweep of Middle Eastern life of the 1980s, but it is steered by acutely observed small moments: the daily sadism of his schoolteachers, the cruelty and vulnerability of his fellow students, and the obsequiousness of his father in the company of those close to the regime. And as the family strains to fit in, one chilling, barbaric act drives the Sattoufs to take the most dramatic of steps.
Immediate and gripping, The Arab of the Future 2 once again reveals the inner workings of a tormented country and a tormented family, delivered through Riad Sattouf ‘s dazzlingly original graphic style.
‘An object of consensual rapture’ – New Yorker
‘Laced with astute observations of human beings’ – Guardian
‘Marvellous… Sattouf records it all in an endearing cartoony style, his clean lines enhanced by discreet colour shading to indicate which country they’re living in at the time. His comic timing is immaculate, but there’s always an edge to his humour. Packing a host of unforgettable scenes, The Arab of the Future begs to be read in one long sitting‘ – Herald
‘Worth a shelf full of books about identity politics, history or political science’ – Hari Kunzru
‘A beautiful, funny, and important graphic memoir’ – Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home
‘Engrossing’ – New York Times Book Review
‘Captivating, compelling, informative and an amazing read… An important book. I will be recommending this to all our customers, a must read’ – Sheila O’Reilly, Dulwich Books
‘Drawn with remarkable flair and a winning visual style, Sattouf’s memoir is an incredible achievement.The Arab of the Future took me to places that, until now, I only really knew through headlines. Vital, funny andpoignant, it’s Sattouf’s focus on the common aspects of childhood that gives this book so much punch’ – Gary Perry, Foyles Staff Pick
‘Absolutely mesmerising… The Arab of the Future is a tremendously engaging story of family life. It’s also a fascinating personal insight into differing cultural attitudes, the physical reality of living under two distinct Arab leaders and how national/social/religious ideologies filter through the consciousness of a wide-eyed adolescent. It’s a heartfelt, refreshing take on growing up in unique circumstances. I highly recommend reading it before the next volume of this trilogy is published in the UK in September by Two Roads’ – Eric, Lonesome Reader
‘Fascinating… A really moving and at times quite melancholy story of an odd childhood’ – Anna James, A Case For Books
‘A convincing combination of wit and depth’ – Frankfurter Allgemeine
‘Brilliant, shar and surprising’ – Repubblica
‘Touching, chilling and very instructive’ – El Mundo
Watch Riad on BBC Newsnight, interviewed by Kirsty Wark
The Arab of the Future 1 was one of the featured books for August on Lonesome Reader‘s YouTube channel Have a look below and make sure to sign up to his channel: he’s a brilliant reader with a very eclectic taste. The Arab of the Future is featured from 8:43.
The Arab of the Future 1 was one of blogger/book editor Anna James’ picks for April. Check out her video below (and subscribe to her channel, she’s got impeccable taste). The Arab of the Future is featured from 1:22.
RIAD SATTOUF is a bestselling cartoonist and filmmaker who grew up in Syria and Libya and now lives in Paris.
The author of four comics series in France and a former contributor to the satirical publication Charlie Hebdo, Sattouf is now a weekly columnist for l’Obs. He also directed the films The French Kissers (winner of a César Award for Best First Film) and Jacky in the Women’s Kingdom.
The Arab of the Future series of graphic memoirs is his first work to appear in English and has been translated into sixteen languages. Volume 1, also published by Two Roads, was awarded the Fauve d’Or Prize for Best Album of the Year at the Angoulême International Comics Festival and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Graphic Novels.