Join the Conversation

Join the Conversation

Sign up today to hear about books and authors from an independent bookstore near you.

The Arab of the Future

The Arab of the Future Cover

The Arab of the Future

A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984: A Graphic Memoir

By Riad Sattouf

Metropolitan Books, Paperback, 9781627793445, 160pp.

Publication Date: October 20, 2015

Advertisement
Description

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.



About the Author
Riad Sattouf is a best-selling cartoonist and filmmaker who grew up in Syria, Libya, and Algeria, and now lives in Paris. The author of four comics series in France and a weekly column in the satirical publication "Charlie Hebdo," Sattouf also directed the films "The French Kissers" and" Jacky in the Women's Kingdom." "The Arab of the Future" is his first work to appear in English.


NPR
Monday, Nov 9, 2015

Former Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Riad Sattouf grew up in the Middle East and France with a French mother and Syrian father. "I hate nationalism," he says. "Comic book author [is] my first nationality." More at NPR.org

NPR Audio Player Requires Flash Upgrade: Please upgrade your plug-in to view this content.

NPR
Wednesday, Oct 28, 2015

Riad Sattouf is a Syrian-French cartoonist who brings to life the Middle East in the 1980s. Published as a graphic novel, it provides a humorous and intimate view of the author's youth. More at NPR.org

NPR Audio Player Requires Flash Upgrade: Please upgrade your plug-in to view this content.

Advertisement