The Arab of the Future 2 by Riad Sattouf
A Childhood in the Middle East, 1984-1985: A Graphic Memoir

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Sattouf is a master of visual storytelling, capable of compressing a great deal of human emotion and contradictions within a few panels. He creates a searing depiction of growing up poor in a country ruled by corruption and religious zealotry.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

The highly anticipated continuation of Riad Sattouf’s internationally acclaimed, #1 French bestseller, which was hailed by The New York Times as “a disquieting yet essential read”

In The Arab of the Future: Volume 1, cartoonist Riad Sattouf tells of the first years of his childhood as his family shuttles back and forth between France and the Middle East. In Libya and Syria, young Riad is exposed to the dismal reality of a life where food is scarce, children kill dogs for sport, and his cousins, virulently anti-Semitic and convinced he is Jewish because of his blond hair, lurk around every corner waiting to beat him up.

In Volume 2, Riad, now settled in his father’s hometown of Homs, gets to go to 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 politics, religion, and poverty, but is steered by acutely observed small moments: the daily sadism of his schoolteacher, the lure of the black market, with its menu of shame and subsistence, and the obsequiousness of his father in the company of those close to the regime. As his family strains to fit in, one chilling, barbaric act drives the Sattoufs to make the most dramatic of changes.

Darkly funny and piercingly direct, The Arab of the Future, Volume 2 once again reveals the inner workings of a tormented country and a tormented family, delivered through Riad Sattouf’s dazzlingly original talent.

 

About Riad Sattouf

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Riad Sattouf is a best-selling 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 and Jacky in the Women’s Kingdom.
 
Published September 20, 2016 by Metropolitan Books. 160 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Comics & Graphic Novels, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Arab of the Future 2
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Aug 02 2016

Sattouf is a master of visual storytelling, capable of compressing a great deal of human emotion and contradictions within a few panels. He creates a searing depiction of growing up poor in a country ruled by corruption and religious zealotry.

Read Full Review of The Arab of the Future 2: A C... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NPR

Good
Reviewed by Etelka Lehoczky on Sep 20 2016

Under Sattouf's pen, this state of affairs becomes an ingeniously apt microcosm of the larger world he grew up in. And if this installment is any indication, he has no plans to dial back his rage about it in volume 3.

Read Full Review of The Arab of the Future 2: A C... | See more reviews from NPR

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