Author(s): Riad Sattouf
VOLUME 2 IN THE UNFORGETTABLE STORY OF AN EXTRAORDINARY CHILDHOOD
A GUARDIAN BOOK OF THE YEAR | AN OBSERVER GRAPHIC BOOK OF THE YEAR
A NEW YORK TIMES CRITICS' TOP BOOKS OF 2016 'EXUBERANTLY HERETICAL'
'I tore through it... The most enjoyable graphic novel I've read in a while' Zadie Smith
'I joyously recommend this book to you' Mark Haddon
'Riad Sattouf is one of the great creators of our time' Alain De Botton
'Beautifully-written and drawn, witty, sad, fascinating... Brilliant' Simon Sebag Montefiore
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.
Translated by Sam Taylor.
***THE ARAB OF THE FUTURE - THE INTERNATIONAL SENSATION***
#1 BESTSELLER IN FRANCE | GUARDIAN 'BEST GRAPHIC BOOKS OF 2015' PICK | NYTIMES EDITOR'S CHOICE | SELECTED AS ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY LATIMES, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, AMAZON.COM, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, NPR | WINNER OF THE FAUVE D'OR PRIZE FOR BEST ALBUM OF THE YEAR AT THE ANGOULÊME INTERNATIONAL COMICS FESTIVAL | WINNER OF THE LATIMES BOOK PRIZE FOR GRAPHIC NOVELS | NOMINATED FOR 'BEST REALITY-BASED WORK' AT THE EISNER AWARDS
Riad Sattouf's shockingly blunt The Arab of the Future, which tells the story of the French cartoonist's itinerant childhood in the Middle East, is a must for anyone who wants to understand more about the failure of the pan-Arab dream, with all the consequences this has had for the situation in which we now find ourselves. It's also a page-turner, dissecting as it does the psychology of a man (Riad's Syrian father) whose increasingly deluded idealism results in a form of tyranny when it comes to his own family. Guardian (Best Graphic Books of 2015) Exquisitely illustrated, and filled with experiences of misfortune bordering on the farcical, Mr. Sattouf's book is a disquieting yet essential read New York Times The Arab of the Future has become that rare thing in France's polarized intellectual climate: an object of consensual rapture, hailed as a masterpiece in the leading journals of both the left and the right... it has, in effect, made Sattouf the Arab of the present in France New Yorker Sattouf's work is laced with astute observations of human beings. His memoirs often dwell on their failings: hypocrisy, cowardice, bullying. Yet there's humour too - mainly because his humans are so helplessly absurd Guardian As the very young Riad Sattouf navigates life in Libya, France, and Syria, he gets a serious education in the mysterious vectors of power that shape not just the political world, but the intimate sphere of his own family. With charming yet powerful drawings and vivid sensory details, Sattouf delivers a child's-eye view of the baffling adult world in all its complexity, corruption, and delusion. This is a beautiful, funny, and important graphic memoir Alison Bechdel, author of FUN HOME Engrossing ... Sattouf writes in a fluid prose, beautifully translated by Sam Taylor New York Times Book Review (Editor's Choice) Engaging and lovely to look at ... Sattouf has an eye for grimly funny details ... and milks the disjunction between how he experienced his political environment at the time and how he understands it now for all it's worth Los Angeles Times (Best Books of the Year 2015) Sattouf's timely graphic memoir - a bestseller in France, where he lives - recounts his upbringing in Syria and Libya. Despite the starkness of much of his story, Sattouf maintains a playful touch in all his panels San Francisco Chronicle (Best of 2015) With a judicious eye for an anecdote, and even more judicious doses of commentary, Sattouf - a former contributor to the French humor magazine Charlie Hebdo - delivers a vicious denunciation of pan-Arabism and Islamic politics. It might seem impossible to depict the recent history of the Middle East using Sattouf's zany drawing style... But Sattouf uses this style to establish a subtle and contradictory relationship with his reader. He simultaneously disclaims the reader's attention - No, nothing important going on here - and challenges the discerning few to look closer NPR The hundred-and-fifty-odd pages of Riad Sattouf's internationally bestselling graphic memoir ... move with an irrepressible comic velocity. The book is told Candide-style ... an indictment of the adult world and its insidious methods of diminishment we all have either faced or been fortunate enough to escape. New Republic The book, whose title pokes fun at Abdel-Razak's pan-Arabist obsessions, shows the hypocrisy behind one man's understanding of that failed political ideology, makes tangible the absurdity of living under propaganda-mad dictators, and it humanizes, for better or worse, certain segments of very poor Muslim populations in two specific parts of the Middle East. Vice The Arab of the Future maintains a balance of comedy and commentary and ...is carried by excellent drawings. Riad Sattouf's work takes its place alongside other classic animated retrospective memoirs from the region, Persepolis ... and Waltz with Bashir New York Journal of Books The book's highest achievement is the ability to portray the tacit power structures that govern family and nation through the eyes of a child, with all of a child's parental worship and bafflement... The Arab of the Future begs for a more complex and compassionate understanding of an area of the world that's all too often the target of misunderstanding and fear. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette The Arab of the Future is already being compared to biographical classics like Maus and Persepolis, and the modern relevance of the countries in which it is set is sure to make this a widely talked about book this year Mentalfloss.com The Arab of the Future confirms Riad Sattouf's place among the greatest cartoonists of his generation Le Monde (France) In his comics, Sattouf deftly weaves the political background with the everyday. He tells a personal story but also observes the society and country around him, and his great sense of humor makes reading the book thoroughly enjoyable. It'll have you laughing to the point of tears. Haaretz (Israel) Rarely I've encountered a more convincing combination of wit and depth Frankfurter Allgemeine (Germany) Brilliant, sharp and surprising Repubblica (Italy) touching, chilling and very instructive El Mundo (Spain) Sattouf presents timely, candid insights into life behind the curtain in news-making nations - namely, in this case, Libya and Syria... he nails the inexplicable dizziness of being a child Globe and Mail Sattouf's account of his childhood is a deeply personal recollection of a peripatetic youth that can resonate with audiences across the world. It also paints an incisive picture of the Arab world in the late 1970s and early 1980s that sets the stage for the revolutionary changes that would grip and roil the region decades later. Foreign Policy Wide-eyed, yet perceptive, the book documents the wanderings of [Sattouf's] mismatched parents?his bookish French mother and pan-Arabist father, Abdel-Razak Sattouf ... often disquieting, but always honest France 24 Very funny and very sad ... the social commentary here is more wistful and melancholy than sharp-edged ... subtly written and deftly illustrated, with psychological incisiveness and humor Kirkus Reviews (starred review) Despite his father's determination to integrate his son into Arab society, little Sattouf - with his long blond hair - never fully fits in, and this report reads like the curious pondering of an alien from another world. Caught between his parents, Sattouf makes the best of his situation by becoming a master observer and interpreter, his clean, cartoonish art making a social and personal document of wit and understanding. Publishers Weekly (starred review)
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 Cesar Award for Best First Film) and Jacky in the Women's Kingdom. The Arab of the Future - which was awarded the Fauve d'Or Prize for Best Album of the Year at the Angouleme International Comics Festival and has been translated into sixteen languages - is his first work to appear in English. riadsattouf.com @RiadSattouf