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The Arab of the Future

Riad Sattouf; Sam Taylor (translator)

Metropolitan Books, October 2015

The Arab of the Future 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.

 

 

Follow this link for more information about the book.

You can also read this article from france24.com about Sattouf's work.

Don't miss The Arab of the Future review in Publishers' Weekly Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2015!

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