VOLUME 3 IN THE UNFORGETTABLE STORY OF AN EXTRAORDINARY CHILDHOOD
Praise for The Arab of the Future series
'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
'A MASTERPIECE' Posy Simmonds | 'EXCELLENT' Guardian | 'Superb' Spectator
After having followed her husband to Libya and then to Syria, Riad's mother can't take any more of village life in Ter Maaleh: she wants to go back to France. Young Riad sees his father torn between his wife's aspirations and the weight of family traditions...
The Arab of the Future tells the story of Riad Sattouf's childhood in the Middle East. The first volume covers the period from 1978 to 1984: from birth to the age of six, little Riad is shuttled between Libya, Brittany and Syria. The second volume tells the story of his first year of school in Syria (1984-1985). This third volume sees him between the ages of six and nine, the time he becomes aware of the society he is growing up in.
Can you celebrate Christmas in Ter Maaleh? Were there video clubs in Homs? How do children of eight fast for Ramadan? Was Conan the Barbarian circumcised? Were Breton villagers kinder to their animals than their Syrian counterparts? How far will Riad go to please his father? And how far will his father go to become an important man in the Syria of Hafez Al-Assad?
Translated by Sam Taylor.
***THE ARAB OF THE FUTURE - THE INTERNATIONAL SENSATION***
1 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE | #1 BESTSELLER IN FRANCE | GUARDIAN 'BEST GRAPHIC BOOKS OF 2015' PICK | NY TIMES EDITOR'S CHOICE |
In the third volume of his magnificent five-part memoir, French-Syrian cartoonist Sattouf aged seven in the book begins to realize the poverty, patriarchy, and religious stratification that permeates life in Syria. He reluctantly undergoes a circumcision to appease his devout grandmother, becomes cognizant of his mother's lowly stature in Syrian society, and sees his father's own limitations and weaknesses. The cultural rift between Sattouf's French-born mother and his Syrian-born father metastasizes throughout this installment. Sattouf's mother is vocal about her unhappiness living in her husband's childhood village: "We've got quite a few problems," she tells her mother over the phone. "Life is hard here." Sattouf's father once a dynamic, progressive student living in France has lost his hopeful outlook as he is increasingly drawn to his extended family's religiosity. While the young Sattouf retains his childish whimsy, the tension between the adults in his life looms like a shadow. As the series builds in maturity and depth, Sattouf depicts in unsettling detail how political and religious indoctrination can infect even the most well-meaning idealists. This is essential reading both for graphic novel fans and to provide human context to global political conflicts. (Aug.)