Riad Sattouf - The Arab of the Future - Hodder & Stoughton

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    • ISBN:9781473638129
    • Publication date:07 Apr 2016
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The Arab of the Future

Volume 1: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984 - A Graphic Memoir

By Riad Sattouf

  • Paperback
  • £18.99

THE #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
Brimming with life and dark humour, 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.

VOLUME 1 IN THE UNFORGETTABLE STORY OF AN EXTRAORDINARY CHILDHOOD

A GUARDIAN BOOK OF THE YEAR 2015/2016 | AN OBSERVER GRAPHIC BOOK OF THE YEAR 2016 | 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 Arab of the Future tells the unforgettable story of Riad Sattouf's childhood, spent in the shadows of three 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 humour, 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.

Translated by Sam Taylor.


WINNER OF THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE FOR GRAPHIC NOVELS
NOMINATED FOR 'BEST REALITY-BASED WORK' AT THE EISNER AWARDS
'ENGROSSING' New York Times
'A PAGE TURNER' Guardian
'MARVELLOUS... BEGS TO BE READ IN ONE LONG SITTING' Herald
'AN OBJECT OF CONSENSUAL RAPTURE' New Yorker
'ONE OF THE GREATEST CARTOONISTS OF HIS GENERATION' Le Monde

Biographical Notes

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 - which was awarded the Fauve d'Or Prize for Best Album of the Year at the Angoulême International Comics Festival and has been translated into twenty languages - is his first work to appear in English.

riadsattouf.com
@RiadSattouf

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781473638112
  • Publication date: 07 Apr 2016
  • Page count: 160
  • Imprint: Two Roads
I tore through two volumes of The Arab of the Future, by Riad Sattouf - it's the most enjoyable graphic novel I've read in a while — Zadie Smith
This is a masterpiece that deserves the widest readership. The Arab Of The Future reminds us that, in talented hands, graphic novels are capable of carrying the weightiest themes, making us think, and touching our hearts while also keeping us hugely entertained. Riad Sattouf is one of the great creators of our time' — Alain De Botton
The Arab of the Future is wonderfully observed, funny, grim, sharp and sad. Riad Sattouf, with his ear for anecdote, his nimble drawing and his understanding of human frailty, has created a masterpiece. — Posy Simmonds
I joyously recommend this book to you. You will be moved, entertained and edified. Often simultaneously — Mark Haddon
Beautifully-written and drawn, witty, sad, fascinating... Brilliant — Simon Sebag Montefiore
Riad Sattouf's poignant memoir is the record of a single, unique life, but it's one of those 'single windows' through which the world is made newly visible. It's worth a shelf full of books about identity politics, history or political science. — Hari Kunzru
Sattouf experienced both Gaddafi's Libya and Hafez al-Assad's Syria while still a small boy. Kids don't spend a lot of time reflecting on totalitarianism, but they do form strong impressions. His simple depictions of living in an almost-abandoned building for expatriates in Libya, or of watching Assad praying on TV are the kind of banal micro-details that would lose their significance in written prose. Captured in the panels of a cartoon strip, however, they attain a luminous resonance that lingers long after you've finished the book. — Guardian
Not since Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi's graphic memoir of revolutionary Iran, has a comic book seemed so important, or been so acclaimed... There is a feeling that the book throws some light both on the roots of the Arab spring, and what has happened since. In a country - and beyond it, a world - in which bewilderment and anxiety at recent events polarises communities as often as it unites them, it has an authenticity with which no expert or talking head could ever hope to compete. — Observer
Excellent... The graphic novel has proved itself again and again. It already has its canon: Art Spiegelman on the Holocaust, Marjane Satrapi on girlhood in Islamist Iran, and, perhaps most accomplished of all, Joe Sacco's Footnotes in Gaza, a work of detailed and self-reflexive history. Edging towards this company comes Riad Sattouf's childhood memoir of tyranny... It's this sort of detail, drawn with the cartoon clarity of childhood perception, that makes the book such a success... The Arab of the Future is an authentic, emotionally honest memoir, and much more useful background reading for present events than a romanticised account of cosmopolitan, bourgeois Damascus would be. — 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 (Paperback of the Week)
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)
Captivating, compelling, informative and an amazing read... Using his voice as a child, Saffouf deals with the topics such as Arabs v Jews, America and the Western Influences, the madness of Gaddafi, racism in France and the general treatment of women. With these topics one might think it's a heavy read but by telling his life in graphic format is ingenious and powerful... 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 and poignant, it's Sattouf's focus on the common aspects of childhood that gives this book so much punch — Gary Perry, Foyles Staff Pick
Fascinating... A really moving and at times quite melancholy story of an odd childhood. I'm really looking forward to reading Volume 2 in September — Anna James, A Case for Books
Epic... Told with childlike wonder and the merest hint of mature understanding, it's a wide-eyed and unforgettable tour of the early days of Muammar Gaddafi's Libya and Hafez al-Assad's Syria (via rural Brittany), as Sattouf's professor father pursues an unbridled ambition to help build a proud Arab nation through the power of education. — Bookanista
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
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
Engrossing . . . Sattouf writes in a fluid prose, beautifully translated by Sam Taylor — New York Times Book Review (Editor’s Choice)
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
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. — Lonesome Reader
The Arab of the Future confirms Riad Sattouf's place among the greatest cartoonists of his generation — Le Monde (France)
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

Sattouf's book takes us from place to place and culture to culture, and in the emphasis of differences there is also the unveiling of similarities... Sattouf retells, with words and images, the heartbreaking realisation of the non-place in which many immigrants are forced to exist... Sattouf's book is challenging amongst other reasons because it deals with the most demonised, othered identity in Europe. Because the narrative takes the characters from country to country, language to language and culture to culture, the narrative perspective is necessarily comparative, and because things are never black and white, either/or, often the conclusions are contradictory... There is a loneliness in all of Sattouf's characters, who, often, do not really talk to each other, but to themselves, or keep a repressed/repressive silence. In the constant coming and going of the trial and error from country to country, the immigrant's story is, in spite of the presence of family, one of solitude, but moved forward by hope...
In this sense The Arab of the Future is a profoundly political and timely book... The present historical moment in Europe calls more than ever for exercises of solidarity and empathy: in retelling his past Sattouf is not merely retreating into himself, but telling us very important things about the historical past, present and possible futures of us all.

— Comics Grid
Riven with flashes of dark humour... The penmanship is simple and witty, oddly it reminded me of Matt in the Telegraph. Despite writing for Charlie Hebdo, Sattouf had never been an overtly political cartoonist and yet in The Arab of The Future he has said more about the problems of the Arab world than a hundred newspaper articles. The story ends in 1984 with the family about to return to Syria. The sequel is already out in France with an English edition to come in September. I can't wait. — CapX
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
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
An important introduction to the Middle East... This recently-published graphic memoir proves that the medium can be just as important - and informative - as traditional non-fiction for those looking to understand a complex region... At once touching and humorous...Whether you're looking for a diverting read or a first-person account of modern history, The Arab of the Future is a must-read. — The Culture Trip
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)
Absorbing ... rich in detail and character ... a remarkable and engrossing book — The Slings and Arrows
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VOLUME 3 IN THE UNFORGETTABLE STORY OF AN EXTRAORDINARY CHILDHOODPraise 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' SpectatorAfter 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 |

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Authors:
Derek Pringle

'Pringle's tale is both a love letter to the greatest player of his generation, Sir Ian Botham and an engaging romp in which cricket only plays a walk-on part.' Michael AthertonThe Eighties was a colourful period in English cricket. As a member of the most successful team in Essex's history and an England side capable of extraordinary highs and lows, Derek Pringle was lucky enough to be in the thick of it. Now, with the perspective of more than twenty years as a journalist, he lays bare the realities of life as a professional cricketer in a decade when the game was dominated by a cast of unforgettable characters, whose exploits became front-page news.Picked for the Test side while still an ear stud-wearing student at Cambridge, he was as surprised as anybody to find himself playing alongside the likes of David Gower, Allan Lamb and Phil Edmonds. He also had to contend with being hailed as the new Ian Botham, even though the old one was still going strong - and playing in the same team.For England, it was a time of mixed fortunes, as Ashes victories alternated with humiliation by a dominant West Indies. The chop-and-change policy of the selectors - culminating in the summer of four captains in 1988 - made cricket such an insecure profession that some players chose to go on rebel tours of South Africa, while others relished every opportunity the game provided - on and off the field.The hard slog of domestic cricket, meanwhile, had never seen so much talent, with counties boasting overseas players like Viv Richards, Malcolm Marshall and Javed Miandad. A coach-free zone, it was left in the hands of canny old pros such as Keith Fletcher and John Lever, who guided Essex to multiple Championship and one-day successes.But cricket was changing, and not necessarily for the better. By the end of the decade, as the new coaching culture established itself, it became clear that the days of the maverick cricketer were numbered. Few players ended the Eighties wealthy, but as Derek Pringle's eye-opening memoir reveals, all left rich in experience, with enough stories to last a lifetime.

Hodder & Stoughton

Arabia

Levison Wood
Authors:
Levison Wood

'[A] rollicking Boys' Own adventure' - Spectator'This heart-stopping personal account of historic Arabia today.' - Compass MagazineFollowing in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia and Wilfred Thesiger, Arabia is an insight into Levison Wood's most complex and daring expedition yet: an epic and unprecedented 5000-mile journey through 13 countries, circumnavigating the Arabian Peninsula.Honest, reflective and poignant, Arabia is a historical, religious and spiritual journey, through some of the harshest and most beautiful environments on Earth. Exploring the Middle East through the lives, hearts and hopes of its people, Levison Wood challenges the perceptions of an often misunderstood part of the world, seeing how the region has changed and examining the stories we don't often hear about in the media.

Coronet

The Back-Up Plan

Alice Judge-Talbot
Authors:
Alice Judge-Talbot

At 27 years old, I found myself with a broken down marriage and two children under two to raise on my own. I had no other option than to survive. Nah, scratch that, I needed to thrive. But where would I begin? I wasn't sure if I knew how to live alone, let alone how to boss it solo with a couple of kids in tow. It's been a hell of a journey signposted with dating fails, money worries and ex-husband woes, but when was a Back-up Plan ever straightforward? This book is the one I needed to read in the lonely 3am darkness of an unfixable marriage, lying next to a man I was sure I didn't want to be tied to anymore but whom I was too scared to leave. This book is the one I needed to read when I picked up my first packet of anti-depressants and read Elizabeth Wurtzel's Prozac Nation to feel off-the-cuff and cool (but just felt more depressed). This book is the one I needed to read in the infinitely long days that stretched ahead of me alone with two infants, minimal sleep and no hope. This book is the one I needed to read when shamefully I carted my two toddlers to Boots to pick up my very first Morning After Pill after my very first One Night Stand. This book is the I needed to read when my world was about to fall apart.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Blink of an Eye

Rikke Schmidt Kjærgaard
Authors:
Rikke Schmidt Kjærgaard

'As gripping as a thriller' SUNDAY EXPRESS'Heartbreaking and life-affirming' MAX PEMBERTON, author of TRUST ME, I'M A (JUNIOR) DOCTOR'The most spellbinding and harrowing story I believe I have ever heard. It is the story you are about to read' From the Foreword by BILL BRYSON* * *The powerful and moving memoir by a scientist and mother of three of how she learned to live again, after a sudden severe infection caused her to die and then revive, but locked in - completely paralysed, and only able to blink an eye. Foreword by Bill Bryson.At the age of 38, Rikke Schmidt Kjærgaard, a Danish scientist, wife and mother of three, is struck down by an acute bout of bacterial meningitis. She awakes from a coma in intensive care to find herself locked in, unable to show she is conscious except by blinking her eye. It becomes her only form of communication as in the months that follow, Kjærgaard's husband Peter sits beside her helping to interpret every eye movement. She struggles with every basic of life - painfully learning how to breathe, move, eat and speak again. Despite being given a five per cent chance of survival, she works intensively to recover and to achieve every small breakthrough. The Blink of an Eye is a celebration of love and family and every little thing that matters when life is in the balance - written by a scientist uniquely able to describe her physical and mental journey to recovery.

Two Roads

Girl on the Line

Alice Vinten
Authors:
Alice Vinten
Hodder & Stoughton

The Boy on the Shed:A remarkable sporting memoir with a foreword by Alan Shearer

Paul Ferris
Authors:
Paul Ferris